background_fid.jpg
Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Manhattan Project Park Left Out Of Defense Bill, Supporters Not Giving Up

B_reactor.jpg
Department of Energy
File photo of the B Reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

A plan to turn part of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation into a national park has been dropped from a compromise defense authorization bill.

The measure is moving through the U.S. Congress. The idea is to designate Hanford’s B Reactor as part of the Manhattan Project National Park, along with sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Maynard Plahuta, president of the B Reactor Museum Association based in the Tri-Cities, Washington, says he is undeterred by the setback.

“We are going to keep pushing for this, all of us that are involved in this, all three sites, for getting this thing established.”

Another piece of legislation that would create the park has passed through the U.S. House. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hasn’t taken it up yet.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.