Hanford Watch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 1999

For further information contact:
Paige Knight
Hanford Watch
(503) 232-0848
paigeKnt@juno.com

HANFORD WATCH OPPOSES FFTF STUDY

Hanford Watch, a Portland public interest group, on Thursday blasted US Dept. of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson's recent decision to order a three month study on restarting Hanford's Fast Flux Test Facility nuclear reactor.

"Operating FFTF would produce more nuclear waste, adding to Hanford's already overwhelming burden, which threatens the Columbia River," said Hanford Watch president Paige Knight. "Hanford's sole focus should be on cleanup," she said.

FFTF, a research reactor, has been kept on standby since the early 1990s, at a cost of $40 million per year, due to lack of a mission. Possible restart missions include producing medical isotopes and plutonium 238 for space batteries. A combination of missions would be required to make operating the reactor financially feasible.

Residents of the Tri-Cities area around Hanford and some Washington politicians support restarting the controversial reactor. Opposed are Washington and Oregon public interest groups, the Oregon state legislature, Gov. Kitzhaber, former Senator Hatfield, Sen. Wyden and Rep. Blumenauer.

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