Victory Against Nuclear Reactor Proposal

Victory! X-energy just pulled the plug on a proposal to build small modular nuclear reactors near the Columbia River at Hanford

By Lauren Goldberg, Executive Director

smr victory

Great news! The company proposing new commercial nuclear reactors near the Columbia River at the Hanford Nuclear Site just pulled the plug. This is a huge win for everyone that relies on the Columbia River.

Your voice makes a difference in cleaning up Hanford and preventing more commercial nuclear energy development near the Columbia. Bottomline: Hanford is the most polluted place in the Western Hemisphere, and the most long-lived threat to the health of the Columbia River. We must have a laser focus on cleanup, not adding more radioactive waste to the area. 

The nuclear-energy industry views Hanford as a development opportunity. Not on our watch. In 2021, Columbia Riverkeeper launched a campaign to oppose new commercial nuclear energy development near the Columbia at Hanford. We launched this campaign in solidarity with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), which, as the Tribe explained in a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, “does NOT support the deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMR or SMNR) or any new/additive nuclear missions at the Hanford Site.”

To learn more about SMRs and the Hanford SMR proposal, check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s 2021 report. The report details SMRs’ threats to people and the Columbia—and the reasons why SMRs are not the solution to the climate crisis.

In the wake of our report, thousands of people weighed in to support Hanford cleanup and in opposition to SMRs.

Our team is honored to work with Tribal Nations and people who live near Hanford, and in downstream communities, to fight for Hanford cleanup. This week’s victory against the proposed nuclear reactors near the Columbia is a powerful reminder of our collective power to protect clean water and the people who rely on the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest. 

Our work is not done. Can you become a member today to help hold the U.S. government accountable for cleaning up Hanford? You are powering this fight. We anticipate more SMR proposals in Washington state, and will keep you updated on the latest developments.