Stories

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

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Search results for "Nuclear waste" ...

  • 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.
  • LA's Nuclear Secret / KNBC-TV Los Angeles

    A yearlong investigation by KNBC-TV revealed that dangerous radioactive materials were secretly released into the air above Los Angeles for years, and the government has covered it up. This I-Team investigation exposes the once-secret nuclear experiments at the Santa Susana Field Lab, tucked away in the hills between the San Fernando and Simi valleys. We found evidence that these radioactive releases, and the mishandling of toxic chemicals at the Field Lab, might be responsible for thousands of illnesses and deaths. https://vimeo.com/150828999 http://data.nbcstations.com/national/KNBC/la-nuclear-secret/
  • Missteps and Secrets: Los Alamos Officials Downplayed Waste's Dangers

    A leak from a drum of Cold War-era nuclear waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., on Feb. 14, 2014, released radioactive contaminants that reached almost two dozen and the environment outside the ancient salt cavern turned nuclear waste dump. Documents obtained by The Santa Fe New Mexican exposed truths deliberately hidden from regulators and waste dump personnel by Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the waste originated, and the private contractors that operate the lab.
  • 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.
  • Nuclear Waste

    What could possibly be wrongheaded about a U.S.-Russian effort to eliminate 64 tons of plutonium that could be fashioned into thousands of nuclear weapons? Begun in the 1990’s, it was blessed by four presidents, including Barack Obama, who called it an important way “to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons.” To carry it out, the federal government spent billions of dollars on a South Carolina plant to transform the Cold War detritus into fuel for civilian nuclear power plants, an act meant to turn swords into ploughshares — all with surprisingly little debate or oversight in Washington. When the Center for Public Integrity looked closely at the project, after hearing of some of its troubles, we found plenty of scandal. Our major conclusions are reported in our "Nuclear Waste" series of four articles totaling around 12,000 words that were published in June 2013.
  • 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
  • Making money, raising eyebrows

    "An examination by the Sun shows that the pension fund's $23 billion portfolio contains investments in companies that do business with rogue nations or whose practices contribute to social or environmental ills in direct opposition to the United States and Nevada policies."
  • 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.
  • What the atomic age left behind

    This series described a 10.5-million-ton pile of nuclear waste polluting the Colorado River. The waste was left over from decades of milling uranium ore, first for atomic weapons and later for nuclear fuel. For decades, the pile of toxic and radioactive waste leaked into the river, which provides the drinking water for more than 20 million people in three western states. It was the largest of the dozens of piles of tailings and the only one that hadn't been moved away from major rivers in the United States. And for a while, it appeared it would stay put, contaminating the river for centuries.
  • The Cotter Files

    The Cotter Corporation in Canon City, Colorado tried to import 470, 000 tons of waste nuclear waste from a New Jersey Superfund site. "The company intended to dispose of the material on its facility which is a Superfund site itself" The company was sued by Colorado during the 1980s. After some investigation, numerous safety and environment problems were discovered with the site.