Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hanford :: Seattle, Washington Native Americans Essays

Hanford Hanford is an area located Seattle, Washington. This is an area that receives a lot of rainfall and occasional floods. Hanford has had a rich history dating back to the Native American Indians who had occupied this land thousands of years ago. Prior to the early 1940’s, this area was a farming community. The objective of this paper is to cover Hanford from a historical perspective so that we can understand why its radioactive contamination has led to health problems for many people in the area. The second part of this paper will cover an ongoing study by the Hanford Thyroid Disease Study, which had just ended its data phase. In addition, Hanford is deemed uninhabitable by humans or animals due to its high concentrations of radioactive materials. In late 1942 and early 1943 Hanford was selected as the site of the Manhattan Engineer District (Whiteley, 1993). The objective of this project was to test and produce mass quantities of plutonium to produce the Atomic bomb. This site appeared to have little value, according to Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves, one of the members of the Manhattan Engineer District (Whiteley, 1993). Little attentions were given to the possible contamination of the Columbia, nor the majestic green forests of the northwest. The project began in March of 1943 and by August of 1945 sufficient plutonium had been produced for the Nagasaki bomb (Whiteley, 1993). The United States government along with the members if the Manhattan Engineer District knew of the radioactive fumes that were emitted into the air, but did little to prevent it. In addition, low-level and high-level radioactive wastes were spilled into the soil and the Columbia River. Shortly after the Second World War, there was a rapid expansion of the Hanford site as result of the cold war between the United States and the new eastern power, the Soviet Union. The security of the country was the priority of the United States, and the environment suffered irreversible damages. There was an arms race between the two countries and the only focus was to outdo the other. Hence, little thoughts were given to the environment, and little were known about radioactive effects on the environments. The safety of the people who worked at the Hanford site and those living in surrounding areas were kept in secrecy. However, shortly after World War II, officials spoke out on behalf of the safety and health record of the Hanford facility (Whiteley, 1993).

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