Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Hanford" ...

  • The Human Toll of Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    "The Human Toll of Hanford’s Dirty Secrets" exposed that in 2016 an unprecedented number of Hanford nuclear workers became ill after breathing toxic chemical vapors emanating from nuclear waste, while the federal government sat back and did little to remedy the crisis. We showed that instead of taking action to protect its workers, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, Hanford’s operator, waged a cover up campaign, denied any problem existed, and even punished workers who insisted on better health protections.
  • The Human Toll of Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    “The Human Toll of Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” exposed a decades-long effort to hide the health threat posed to workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site in southeastern Washington. Since March dozens of workers (56 at the time of this writing) have become sick on the job after inhaling toxic chemical vapors emitted from underground nuclear storage tanks. These workers are just the most recent to be harmed by exposure to the vapors, which have been allowed to vent into the atmosphere dating back to the facility’s establishment in the 1940s.
  • Hanford Nuclear Whistleblowers

    CBS News introduced viewers to the most contaminated nuclear waste site in the Western Hemisphere: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. We got unprecedented access to the site and interviewed whistleblowers who say the federal plans to clean up the site are dangerous, costly, and ultimately ineffective. The clean-up at Hanford is a financial black hole, with the Department of Energy pouring billions into a plan that is untested, while underground tanks holding decades-old nuclear waste are leaking into the soil.
  • Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” exposed mismanagement, wasted tax dollars and a cover-up by government officials and private contractors at the country’s most contaminated site -- the Hanford Nuclear Reservation located in Washington state -- where the most complex environmental cleanup effort in human history is underway. The liquid and solid waste housed at Hanford is dangerously radioactive and toxic, and any leak has the potential to pose serious threats to human and environmental health throughout the Pacific Northwest. The federal government produced plutonium at Hanford for the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan and for the U.S. nuclear arsenal throughout the Cold War. This production left behind millions of gallons of cancer-causing nuclear byproducts, much of which remains stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford. KING’s reporting showed that the government contractor in charge of the tanks ignored signs of leaking nuclear waste for nearly a year while the company collected millions in bonus money from the Dept. of Energy for its "very successful" stewardship of the waste holding tanks. In addition, we revealed that during the year the contractor failed to address the leak, the company wasted millions of taxpayer funds on a project rendered useless by the very fact that the tank was leaking
  • Lethal and Leaking

    In Hanford, WA millions of gallons of nuclear waste have been stored underground. The Department of Energy has been working to clean up the site since the early 1990s. However due to engineering miscalculations, the development of a treatment plant is behind schedule. Errors such as defective equipment and other mistakes that risk the safety of the plant have forced the price of the clean up to triple.
  • Raising Hell at Hanford

    Nuclear-waste tanks leaking into the ground close to the Columbia River contaminated ground water beneath a fifth of Hanford's 560 square miles. Pacific Northwest Magazine investigates whether there is an imminent danger for people, fish and crops. The report says that "some scientist say there is a huge uncertainty" on whether the "most expensive environmental cleanup on the planet will be effective.
  • Hanford Probe of Chemical Trail, Mixture May Hold Clue to Tank Explosion

    These stories were on ongoing examination of an explosion on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, an Eastern Washington Superfund site where 60 percent of the plutonium for nation's nuclear weapons was manufactured during the Cold War. The reservation is over a mountain pass and five hours from Seattle.
  • Radiation Risks Revisited

    Technology Review reports that "In the late 1970s, British epidemiologist Alice Stewart and her colleagues released a study claiming that workers exposed to low-level ionizing radiation at the U.S. government's Hanford nuclear weapons complex in Washington state had a heightened cancer risk. This troubling conclusion - with potentially far-reaching implications for radiation exposure standards, medical practices, and nuclear industry operations - ignited a major controversy....An analysis by Stewart and statistician George W. Kneale, her longtime collaborator, soon to appear in the 'American Journal of Industrial Medicine,' claims to further establish a connection between exposure of nuclear workers to supposedly safe doses of low-level ionizing radiation and the risk of contracting cancer..."
  • Wasteland

    The Spokesman-Review five-part reports that waste isn't just being removed from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, it's also being created. The cost of cleaning up the weapons facility is millions of dollars a day--much of it flowing freely to pay for perks, studies and endless bureaucracy.
  • Wasteland

    Spokesman-Review's six-month investigation into "how taxpayer dollars are being spent on the nation's largest nuclear waste cleanup, at Hanford in Washington state. Their major findings: After five years and $7.5 billion, little has been cleaned up so far, and as much as one in every three dollars may have been wasted. Lucrative contracts born during Hanford's bomb-making days still reward private contractors for inflated spending on such perks as chauffeur service, free pizzas, jewelry, self-help books and do-nothing jobs.