Speak Up to Demand Real Cleanup at Hanford's Nuclear Reactor Sites on the Columbia River

Columbia Riverkeeper Paddle Trip on the Hanford Reach on July 26, 2015. Riverkeeper hosts this paddle trip annually as an opportunity to educate the public about Hanford’s cleanup. Photo by Sara Quinn
Columbia Riverkeeper Paddle Trip on the Hanford Reach on July 26, 2015. Photo by Sara Quinn.

The U.S. Department of Energy released a plan to finalize its cleanup for an area once used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. The Columbia bends around Hanford’s 100-D and 100-H areas, the location of three cocooned nuclear reactors where nearby soil and groundwater now contains significant chemical and radioactive pollution. This stretch of the Columbia River, known as the Hanford Reach, provides the best mainstem fall Chinook spawning grounds in the Columbia River system.

Unfortunately, Energy’s proposal for cleaning up the 100-D/H areas adjacent to the Hanford Reach would allow soils to remain above pollution standards for up to 187 years, and Energy offered no alternative that would address contaminated soil sites below 15 feet. Energy’s plan leaves huge unanswered questions about how remaining pollution will impact the future generations who may use the area and the salmon that depend on it.

Click here to learn more and submit a comment calling on Energy to enhance its plan to address long-lived chemical and radioactive pollution very close to the Columbia River’s Hanford Reach.

We need your help to show Energy and Washington’s Department of Ecology that the Columbia River and its shorelines are regionally significant resources that deserve extra effort – not a “monitored natural attenuation” (aka “do nothing”) approach that will allow soil contamination to remain close to the Columbia River for up to 187 years.

Read Riverkeeper’s full technical comments here. Thank you for your help in protecting the Columbia River’s salmon habitat from Hanford’s toxic and radioactive legacy.