Hanford Watch


By Paige Knight and Sabine Hilding

The U.S. DOE wants to reopen a nuclear reactor

As we in the Northwest are once again forced to consider the restart of the Fast Flux Test Reactor - FFTF -- a reactor at Hanford Nuclear Reservation just 240 miles upriver from Portland, a catastrophe devastates a town in Japan, and a "smaller" accident at a nuclear facility strikes in South Korea. Can we really believe that nuclear weapons making and nuclear power are clean and safe? Nuclear reactors are aging badly worldwide. And they are not cost effective.

What kind of catastrophe wrought by large under-regulated companies will it take before we, the affected humans, stand up and say NO MORE! The half-lives of many of these nuclear releases are longer than history. That is a sobering thought. There may be no future generations if this abuse of power is not contained. How can this region justify a restart of the Fast Flux Test Facility when the U.S. Congress and the Administration are not cleaning up the most toxic site in the Western Hemisphere -- Hanford?

We need to lead the nation in saying, NO! We must demand treatment of the 54 million gallons of lethal waste that currently sits in Hanford's 177 disintegrating tanks, before more Strontium 90, Cesium, and Plutonium leak into the Columbia River. Our government must bend to the majority and clean up Hanford, not create more waste at this site. The biggest environmental emergency facing the nation is the thousands of old fuel rods of past reactors stored in water in the Hanford K Basins, just 400 yards from the Columbia River.

It is urgent that all of us show up at a MEETING on October 19, 1999, 7:00 PM at the Portland Marriott Hotel, 1401 S.W. Front Ave. to let the U. S. Department of Energy know clearly and unmistakably that we do not want the restart of the FFTF at Hanford.