Hanford Challenge Programs
Hanford scientists, engineers, and other workers are on the front lines of cleanup at Hanford. Hanford works often inadvertently become whistleblowers after raising safety concerns, and then either being fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against by their superiors. Hanford Challenge advocates for whistleblowers and leverages insider information to raise awareness about safety issues at the site because safety shortcuts now translate could translate into a nuclear disaster in the future. Hanford Challenge also uses insider information to educate the public, and to hold both the government and site contractors accountable to relevant safety standards.
Inheriting Hanford; Public Outreach & Education
Inheriting Hanford is a network that works to preserve the knowledge and experience that exists among aging stakeholders who either lived through the Cold War or who have other knowledge and experience with Hanford, and to transfer that knowledge to the younger generations that are literally inheriting Hanford. This program is focused on synthesizing relationships to form a community of interested citizens who can share their knowledge to allow others to understand and meaningfully participate in Hanford discourse. Inheriting Hanford hosts monthly discussion groups and organizes a number of other social outreach events throughout the year to offer varying levels of engagement for those who are interested in learning about Hanford.
Another aspect of our public outreach is achieved by sharing information through email and social media that pertains to important news and events at the site, such as public hearings, and public comment periods for decisions that hold the potential to significantly affect human health and/or the environment.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Over the past several years, Hanford Challenge has worked diligently to support whistleblowers and to raise awareness about serious safety concerns at Hanford. By leveraging insider information, Hanford has rightfully resurfaced as a significant human health and environmental concern in the minds of both state legislators and Congress.
In the past year, Hanford Challenge broke the news of the leaking double-shell waste tank, AY-102; was consulted for advice and explanation about various things at Hanford for hundreds of news stories in national and international news; issued statements on government reports, such as the Hanford Tank Closure and Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement.
Hanford Challenge has been directly responsible for gaining national attention for Hanford safety issues on numerous occasions, the impact of which is becoming increasingly evident as high-profile government officials, such as Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, have taken notice and are demonstrating commitment to the issue by visiting the site and pledging to work toward a safer cleanup.