Interviews with Hanford Downwinders

Stories illustrate the devastating health impacts of Hanford—and how the fight for justice and accountability is far from over. 

Hanford Book Conversation with Authors

Bailie standing in corn field with Hanford plants in the background, 1985. (Photo credit: Spokesman-Review)
Hanford Downwinder Tom Bailie standing in corn field with Hanford plants in the background, 1985. (Photo credit: Spokesman-Review)

There have been several groundbreaking books written about Hanford over the years, exploring and exposing the nuclear ticking time-bomb along the banks of the Columbia.
In December 2020, we spoke to Kate Brown author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, Trisha Pritikin author of The Hanford Plaintiffs: Voices from the Fight for Atomic Justice, and investigative journalist Karen Dorn Steele, who broke the stories of cancers and other serious illness downwind and downriver of Hanford. Brown, Pritikin, and Steele discussed the secrecy and deceit surrounding the human health toll of Hanford operations. 

We took the Hanford-authors discussion one step further and interviewed two Hanford downwinders: Tom Bailie grew up on a corn farm adjacent to Hanford during peak operation years, and Bob McCormick, whose family lived downwind and downriver of Hanford in Boardman, Oregon. Both Bailie and McCormick’s stories illustrate the devastating health impacts of Hanford—and how the fight for justice and accountability is far from over. 

Get inspired to fight for cleanup at Hanford. Check out a virtual tour of Hanford: Columbia Riverkeeper Water Quality Director explains the paradox of Hanford's nuclear legacyand the unintentional byproduct: a rare environment teeming with life. 

To ensure the complete and timely cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site, we review and critique cleanup and restoration plans.