Cleaning Up Hanford

Hanford is the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere. Cleanup matters.

The Problem

The Columbia River runs along the Hanford Nuclear Site, home to some of the most dangerous pollution on Earth. Hanford is a result of the nuclear arms race that started with World War II and played out through the Cold War. For decades, the federal government stored highly radioactive and toxic waste in 177 underground tanks or dumped the pollution directly into the ground. Now, the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) is responsible for one of the largest nuclear cleanup efforts in the world. Our goal: hold the government accountable for protecting people and the Columbia from Hanford’s radioactive and toxic legacy.

How We Protect

Riverkeeper empowers people to engage in one of the most importantㅡand complicatedㅡcleanups in the world. We watchdog government decisions on Hanford cleanup and arm people with the facts and law to make a difference. We work in solidarity with tribal nations to increase public participation in critical cleanup decisions at Hanford. And we serve on the Hanford Advisory Board, a non-partisan government board that provides recommendations on Hanford cleanup to the D.O.E., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington Department of Ecology.

 Hanford—A Future Worth Fighting For:


Water's Walk Through Hanford
Follow the path of a water droplet flowing through the Hanford site. Youth-friendly. Artistic. Accessible.

Take Action

Join Columbia Riverkeeper to hold the U.S. government responsible for cleaning up the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere: the Hanford Nuclear Site.

Hanford Art Contest Inspires

“A healthy Columbia River means to me that those living there would live out healthy lives that should not be cut short because of dumped waste.”- Jazmine Cabaluna"

Hanford Vision Report

U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Vision for Hanford Puts People, Columbia River at Risk: How will people use the Hanford Nuclear Site in 25 years, 100 years, and beyond?  



Hear firsthand why failure is not an option for Hanford cleanup.
Travel down the Columbia as it flows past the Hanford Nuclear Site in our short film "Hanford: A Race Against Time."



Power starts with education.
Investigative reports. Fact sheets. Comment letters on cleanup plans. High school curriculum. 

Our Work

Legal advocacy and community organizing stop pollution, fight fossil fuels, save salmon, engage communities, and clean up Hanford.