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Hanford rally will challenge cleanup work, call for more funding and transparency via Oregon

Members of Occupy Portland and others will take part April 15 in a rally to raise awareness about the cleanup work at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex in eastern Washington.

The rally begins at noon at John Dam Plaza in Richland, Wash. Among the speakers is Helen Caldicott, a well-known anti-nuclear activist.

The Hanford site, occupying 586 square miles, once held nine nuclear reactors used to produce radioactive plutonium for atomic weapons. The facility operated from 1944 to 1987, during which time it discharged an estimated 450 billion gallons of liquids into the ground and 53 million gallons of radioactive waste into 177 underground tanks. At least 20 of the tanks are known to have leaked, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and 47 more may have leaked in the past. More than 100 square miles of groundwater was contaminated

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