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Environment and Planning
00000179-65ef-d8e2-a9ff-f5ef8d430000The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington was home to Native Americans and later to settlers. It turned into an top-secret military workhorse during World War II and the Cold War. Now, it’s one of the most pressing and complex environmental cleanup challenges humanity is facing in the world.This remote area in southeast Washington is where the federal government made plutonium for bombs during WWII and the Cold War. It’s now home to some of the most toxic contamination on earth, a witch’s brew of chemicals, radioactive waste and defunct structures. In central Hanford, leaking underground tanks full of radioactive sludge await a permanent solution. Meanwhile, a massive $12 billion waste treatment plant, designed to bind up that tank waste into more stable glass logs, has a troubled history.00000179-65ef-d8e2-a9ff-f5ef8d440000Anna King is public radio's correspondent in Richland, Washington, covering the seemingly endless complexities of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Hanford Whistleblower Gets $4.1 Million In Settlement Deal

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U.S. Senate
File photo. Walter Tamosaitis will receive $4.1 million in a settlement deal with his former employer URS.

Walter Tamosaitis, a high-level whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, settled Wednesday with his former employer federal contractor URS.

Tamosaitis will receive $4.1 million in the settlement.

Tamosaitis was removed from his position as a research and technology manager on the major waste treatment plant being built at Hanford. The plant is meant to bind up radioactive sludge into glass logs for long-term safe storage.

Tamosaitis was terminated after he raised safety concerns.