Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Tribes Protest N-Reactor Project on Hanford Site

Play

Thursday, October 28, 2021   

RICHLAND, Wash. -- An advanced nuclear reactor proposal at the Hanford site is spurring opposition from local tribes.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy saying they do not support the company X-energy's small modular reactor proposal.

Mason Murphy, energy and environmental science program manager for the tribes, said the Hanford nuclear reservation near the Columbia River is partially within tribally ceded territory under the Treaty of 1855.

"Because of that, we anticipate that the small modular nuclear reactors may have impacts on all of the following resources: Specifically, state and federally listed plants and wildlife; big game habitat; [and] historic properties of religious and cultural significance as defined in the National Historic Preservation Act," Murphy outlined.

X-energy's proposal involves advanced nuclear reactor technology, which could produce more than 300 megawatts of power. The Department of Energy awarded the company $80 million in initial funding in 2020. The company said the reactors are based on safe, clean and affordable technology.

The Hanford Nuclear Site was chosen during World War II to produce much of the country's plutonium for 40 years. That also meant a lot of waste, which is a concern for the tribes.

Murphy argued there is no solution for long-term storage of nuclear waste, some of which has half-lives of 15 million years. He worries what will happen if nuclear projects continue to be built there.

"To me, that would indicate they are likely to continue developing that nuclear mission, and those resources may never become available, if that were the case," Murphy contended.

Murphy noted the Department of Energy has committed itself to pursuing environmental justice and should consider what that means in this situation.

"Some of these larger cleanup sites like the Hanford site represent some of the largest environmental injustice sites," Murphy pointed out. "I think that we need to really ensure that that's being taken into consideration when starting to site some of these technologies."

In 2007, the tribes' board of trustees adopted a policy there should be no new nuclear-energy production at the Hanford site without government-to-government consultation. Murphy added the Department of Energy has agreed to meet but has not yet set a date.


get more stories like this via email
The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Environment

An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021