The history of the Department of Energy's Hanford site began in the 1940’s with nuclear production playing a pivotal role in our nation’s defense for decades. An integral part of the Manhattan Project, the work done at Hanford helped end World War II and helped provide the deterrence necessary to defeat communism and end the Cold War. Today, the 586-square-mile Hanford site is the world’s largest environmental cleanup project.
The federal government has a legal and moral responsibility to cleanup this waste. Keeping the cleanup process moving forward is one of my top priorities in Congress.
While in Congress I have successfully worked with both Democrat and Republican Administrations, and my colleagues in Congress to ensure adequate funding is made available for Hanford cleanup, to prevent cleanup delays by prioritizing and streamlining the site’s mission and to ensure that cleanup is moving forward safely, efficiently and in a timely manner.
In 1998, I created the Office of River Protection to provide a streamlined management structure and ensure that cleanup of the waste stored in Hanford’s underground tanks receives the focus and attention that is required.
I am the founder and Chairman of the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus – a tool through which Members of Congress who represent communities with nuclear waste sites across the nation are able to advocate for cleanup with one voice. And, I wrote the law directing the National Park Service to study preservation of Hanford’s historic B Reactor and other similar sites.
I am working to force the Obama Administration to uphold the law and move forward with the national repository at Yucca Mountain – the ultimate destination for Hanford’s high-level radioactive waste. And, I am helping the Tri-Cities community prepare for the post-cleanup era.