Back in March, Laura Onstot traveled to Hanford to write a cover story on the possible dawn of a new nuclear age. Home to Washington's only existing nuclear power plant, Hanford is where the first atomic bomb was built and where cleanup from the Manhattan Project continues to this day. Cleanup that, based on a new analysis, may take a lot longer than initially suspected.
The amount of plutonium buried at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is nearly three times what the federal government previously reported, a new analysis indicates, suggesting that a cleanup to protect future generations will be far more challenging than planners had assumed.
The news comes as nuclear advocates are trying to build "backyard reactors" next to Hanford. And will likely be used by those anti-nuclear activists opposed to the resurgence. As one told Onstot: "It is obviously one of the dirtiest technologies ever created on the planet."