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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.

70th Anniversary Of Nagasaki Bombing Remembered In Richland

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Toyoko Tsukuda and Sandip and Lila Dasverma, all of Richland, light peace lanterns at the 70th anniversary ceremony to remember the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

The 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was remembered Sunday night in Richland, Washington. About 50 people gathered near the Columbia River to remember the day.

The small ceremony in the Tri-Cities has been going on since 1982.

At the ceremony, cool air wafted up from the Columbia River over a small crowd. After some peace-themed songs, speeches and an invocation -- the crowd was invited to ring a bell given to Richland by the city of Nagasaki. It’s a small replica of a bell that survived the bomb’s blast. Sound.

Jim Stoffels helps organize this event. He said the night is “a reminder that these weapons still exist and they are a threat to us.”

The plutonium made for the bomb the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki was produced at Hanford just upriver from Richland.

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.