Letter to Elected Officials About Hanford – December 11, 2006)

Posted 6:30 PM PST, December 11, 2006

To: Various Elected Officials representing Southwest Washington

Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Brian Baird, Richard Curtis, Deb Wallace, Jim Moeller, Craig Pridemorem, Bill Fromhold

From: Rosemere Neighborhood Association

Hanford is considered to be one the nation’s worst contaminated nuclear sites with cleanup expected to cost $60 billion and cleanup work to continue through 2035. The site is an environmental nightmare that includes groundwater contaminated with radioactive waste, and the salmon that spawn in the area are known to be reversing sexes due to contaminants in the Columbia River (which could cause the extinction of salmon runs in that area).

The citizens of Washington State passsed initiative 297 in 2004, which barred more nuclear waste from coming to Washington State. Hanford needs to be cleaned up completely before the expansion of any nuclear programs take place. As you know, this initiative was overturned by the US District Court, but the state of Washington has appealed that decision.

However, in the interim, Hanford is being considered as a potential site to house a recycling center for spent nuclear fuel. This process would involve the transformation of highly radioactive waste into combustible isotopes for energy consumption. This is a very risky and volatile exercise that would further harm the health and safety of the people of Washington State, and could further harm the environment, including the Columbia River and all downstream communities. Federal money has already been earmarked to begin this process.

Your constituents clearly mandated that the citizens of Washington do not want to introduce more nuclear waste into our state. Similarly, the citizens have voiced that the cleanup of Hanford has been a woeful exercise in sloppy workmanship with overpriced contracts and egregious mistakes that have resulted in degradation to our natural resources.

As our elected officials, what steps are you taking to address the interests of the voters to deny the introduction of additional nuclear waste in our state? Please advise.

Comment is closed.

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