Before the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was created, since time immemorial this extraordinary bend in the Columbia River was a vital and sacred place to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the Wanapum. During World War II, these lands were snatched from the tribes to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. In one of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous sovereignty, Hanford is now the most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere, in some ways on par with Fukushima and Chernobyl.
On this episode of Locus Focus, we talk with Dan Serres, advocacy director for Columbia Riverkeeper, about the ongoing struggle to clean up Hanford and the critical role the Tribes continue to play to reclaim this land for future generations.
There are two spooky events focused on Hanford this month.
October 12 - "Too Hot to Handle" An in-person event at the Patagonia Store in Portland with Simone Anter and Dan Serres! Presented by Columbia Riverkeeper and Yakama Nation’s Environmental Restoration Waste Management Program (ERWM) “Too Hot to Handle,” is an in-person event breaking down the Department of Energy’s (Energy) radical change in cleanup at Hanford’s 324 Building, leaving deadly radioactive waste 1000 feet from the Columbia River.
October 13 - "Spooky Stories from the Hanford Nuclear Site" An online webinar covering the scary, creepy, and downright strange happenings at the nuclear site as told through the stories of those who have experienced them.