Stories

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

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "department of energy" ...

  • Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica: Half-life

    The series Half-life, a partnership between the Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica, explored health and safety conditions for nuclear workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The says it has complied with federal workers’ safety rules since the mid-1990s, but The New Mexican and ProPublica found thousands of lab workers have filed benefits claims for cancer, and hundreds more have died, as a result of work done in the last two decades — a generation in which nuclear work conditions were supposed to be safe. Reporting found these workers face steep hurdles and are more frequently denied benefits than older generations. The Department of Energy has also rarely held Los Alamos contractors accountable for safety issues and has taken steps to limit independent oversight of safety conditions at federal nuclear sites nationwide.
  • America’s Chernobyl?: Inside the Most Toxic Place in the Nation

    In the course of a six-month investigation, the NBC News Investigative Unit discovered that numerous workers are sick and some have died at a Department of Energy nuclear site, and documented allegations from workers that the US government is covering up the danger. Their report on NBC’s Today Show prompted legislative action and raised larger questions about the ability of the federal government to store some of its most dangerous 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.
  • 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.
  • C-HIT: Toxic Laundry Emissions

    Industrial laundries in New England have recently come under intense scrutiny by the EPA, ever since the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) found that volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) were being released at a facility in Waterbury, CT. According to Steve Rapp, Chief of the Air Technical Unit, EPA Region 1, the problem is widespread and significant. “The industrial laundries are grossly under-reporting their VOCs,” said Rapp. “It’s a total sleeper.” The problem stems from the process of laundering shop towels, which are often contaminated with toxic solvents. When improperly cleaned, the solvents are vaporized and emitted to the surrounding air. This article investigated this little-known source of air pollution, shedding light on the industry’s practices and its impact on air quality and public health.
  • Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra

    Beginning in March, the Center's Ronnie Greene and ABC's Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross exposed flaws in the Department of Energy's billion-dollar spending spree, revealed deep links between Obama campaign bundlers and energy contracts and foreshadowed the financial and political storm that later engulfed Solyndra. Our reporting for "Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra" broke ground before Solyndra's meltdown, and went well beyond the company in revealing a web of connections entangling a department lauded for its innovation. Working as full-reporting partners, our stories tied major Obama donors to lucrative green energy contracts for everything from electric cars to diesel substitutes. After over a year of reporting, we produced 50,000 words for the Center's website, thousands more on ABC's site and broadcasts on World News Tonight, Good Morning America and Nightline. Our stories, built from FOIA requests that yielded thousands of contract, financial and ethics documents, served as a template for national media reports that followed.
  • Sun in a Bottle

    "Sun in a Bottle is an exploration of how a vision of unlimited power - fusion energy - has seduced scientists and corrupted the scientific process."
  • 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.
  • Ohio's Nuclear Legacy: troubled past, uncertain future

    The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is "in the midst of a multibillion environmental cleanup that may eventually be the most expensive ever in Ohio. Meanwhile, untold numbers of sick workers are seeking compensation for their workplace illness, some dying before the government acts on their claims. The story revealed how the Department of Energy ignored state and federal environmental laws- even barring regulators from the plant site- then enforced a code of silence that kept the plant's practices a secret."
  • Natural Gas

    The authors investigated the price of natural gas in Mobile, AL and compared it to neighboring communities in Southeast states. They found that the gas in Alabama, particularly in Mobile, was more expensive than other regions, with no clear explanation for the price spike.