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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Nuclear cleanup at Hanford

Cleanup is urgent, should be fully funded

Tour manager Russ Fabre, left, shows Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden a tour of the Hanford nuclear reservation. Federal officials may ship some 3 million gallons of radioactive waste from the reservation to New Mexico to deal with leaking tanks. (JAIME FRANCIS/THE OREGONIAN).

Tour manager Russ Fabre, left, shows Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden a tour of the Hanford nuclear reservation. Federal officials may ship some 3 million gallons of radioactive waste from the reservation to New Mexico to deal with leaking tanks. (JAIME FRANCIS/THE OREGONIAN).

I am a current student at the University of Washington and after studying the effects of nuclear weapons and radioactive waste this quarter in my anthropology class I wanted to voice my opinion about the recent budget cuts at Hanford.

I find the recent budget cuts at Hanford disturbing [“How budget cuts could affect you,” seattletimes.com, March 7]. It’s nice of the government officials to assure us Hanford still gets a third of the federal budget for nuclear-waste cleanup, but I ask: How can we be so naive? A delay in the cleanup of Hanford due to budget cuts not only prolongs radioactive waste leaking into the Columbia River but also threatens the well-being of our entire state, both physically and monetarily.

When there are human lives on the line, our government cannot afford to make any cuts in the nuclear-cleanup process at Hanford, nor as Washingtonians can we simply sit back and watch without voicing our fears. This is an urgent issue that needs to be fully funded so it can be thoroughly and promptly dealt with before it is too late.

–Allison Barstow, Seattle

End nuclear dependence

Gov. Jay Inslee says that the proposal to move some of Hanford’s nuclear waste to New Mexico is a “good start in the process of getting rid of Hanford’s waste,” which is like moving the chairs around on the Titanic [“With Hanford tanks leaking, some waste may go to N.M.,” NWThursday, March 7].

The reason they haven’t after 60 years found a solution to the nuclear-waste problem is because there is no solution. Because of that and all the other problems inherent in nuclear energy (the danger, the cost, the health risks, etc.) — the only solution is to cut our losses and end our dependence on nuclear energy altogether.

–Christopher Anderson, Seattle

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Hanford, Jay Inslee, nuclear waste


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