Hanford: A Conversation about Nuclear Waste and Cleanup

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Battelle Press, Jan 1, 2003 - Social Science - 375 pages
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In Hanford: A Conversation About Nuclear Waste and Cleanup, Roy Gephart takes us on a journey through a world of facts, values, conflicts, and choices facing the most complex environmental cleanup project in the United States: the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site. Starting with the top-secret Manhattan Project, Hanford was used to create tons of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Hundreds of tons of waste and millions of curies remain. In an easy-to-read, illustrated text, Gephart crafts the story of Hanford becoming the world's first nuclear weapons site to release large amounts of contaminants into the environment. This was at a time when radiation biology was in its infancy, industry practiced unbridled waste dumping, and the public trusted what it was told. Hanford history reveals how little we sometimes understand events when caught inside of them. The plutonium market stalled with the end of the Cold War. Public accountability and environmental compliance ushered in a new cleanup mission. Today, Hanford is driven by remediation choices whose outcomes remain uncertain. It's a story whose epilogue will be written by future generations. This book is an information resource, written for the general reader as well as the technically trained person. It provides an overview of Hanford and cleanup issues facing the nuclear weapons complex. Each chapter is a topical mini-series. It's an idea guide that encourages readers to be informed consumers of Hanford news, and to recognize that knowledge, high ethical standards, and social values are at the heart of coping with nuclear waste. Hanford history is a window into many environmental conflicts facing our nation; it's about building uponsuccess and learning from failure. And therein lies a key lesson: when powerful interests are involved, no generation is above pretense.

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Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance 3 1
Radiation What Was Known and When 4 1
Waste and Nuclear Materials 5 1

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About the author (2003)

Dr. Roy E. Gephart is a geohydrologist and senior program manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington. He has 30 years experience in environmental studies and the nuclear waste industry. He writes and lectures on these topics.

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