The New Economy: Extreme radioactive contamination responsible for US’s fastest growing metro area

Published: December 6th, 2012 at 9:56 pm ET
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Title: Tri-Cities combine for nation’s fastest-growing metro area, boosted by federal money to mop up Hanford
Source: The Oregonian
Author: Richard Cockle
Date: December 05, 2012

Tri-Cities combine for nation’s fastest-growing metro area, boosted by federal money to mop up Hanford

[...] “Approximately $3 billion of federal money comes into this community every year,” Lawrence says. He’s talking about money for the environmental cleanup of Hanford and Battelle’s operation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.

“That,” he says, “is a huge economic base.” [...]

Two years ago, Kiplinger rated the Tri-Cities among the top 10 places in the nation to raise a family. CNN/Money tabbed the towns as one of the top 10 likeliest places to make gains in housing values, owing to their stable economy. [...]

No doubt the Tri-Cities would be smaller and poorer today had it not been for the 1945-91 Cold War and the arms race between the United States and Warsaw Pact nations.

The government processed tons of enriched plutonium at Hanford to manufacture tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. In the process, the 586-square-mile Hanford reservation became contaminated by 56 million gallons of dangerous radioactive chemical slurry. Much of those lethal substances now float in 150 giant underground tanks awaiting disposal. [...]

See also: NPR: Newly leaked report warns plutonium levels at Hanford may be much higher than claimed -- "The Columbia River is at stake, all of that area and its vitality" says Washington Governor

Published: December 6th, 2012 at 9:56 pm ET
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