Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Latest Hanford Emergency Leaves Workers' Safety in Question, Again

Play

Wednesday, May 10, 2017   

RICHLAND, Wash. - Workers were evacuated Tuesday after the roof of a tunnel containing rail cars with radioactive material collapsed at the Hanford nuclear site. No one was injured, but the U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert and around 3,000 employees in the surrounding areas were ordered to take shelter indoors.

Tom Carpenter, executive director of the watchdog group Hanford Challenge, said this is another example that shows the aging facility is in need of serious improvements.

"We're looking at this very much like a wakeup call that you can't keep putting off dealing with Hanford's risky business," he said, "and this was one of 'em, and there are a lot more out there."

There are no indications of a release of radioactive material from the tunnel, according to the DOE. Carpenter commended the agency's quick response with precautionary methods to evacuate workers and order shelter for those nearby. However, he said he is concerned about the DOE's lack of transparency. Originally, he said, the agency reported Tuesday's emergency as just a precautionary measure without alluding to the collapse, which now is a 20-by-20-foot hole and larger hazard.

In this case and others, Carpenter said, the DOE has not been forthright about what's happening on the ground.

"It just gets tiresome," he said. "It's like, 'Come on, spill. What is the situation? Be truthful about it. Don't deny it or soft-pedal it.' They had a bad day at Hanford - and it's not over."

Carpenter said he wants to see another agency in charge of the Hanford cleanup.

"They've got bad habits," he said. "They've got a culture of denial. They've got a lousy safety culture. They punish the people who bring forth reports of safety problems. They fire them over and over and over again."

Hanford is the nation's largest nuclear cleanup site, with more than 50 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks.

The DOE emergency alert is online at hanford.gov.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021