Our Home and Radioactive Land

Hiding on the edge of US atomic consciousness, Chalk River, Ontario has had an operating reactor since 1947. An important source of medical isotopes, the facility is slated to shut down in 2018. As part of the site’s shuttering, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) is primed to “repatriate” liquid uranium waste to the…

Tracing Atoms

Here is a link to the blog from my trip during the summer of 2016 to the Nevada Test Site, Los Alamos, Sandia Labs, Rocky Flats, Idaho National Labs, and Hanford. The blog is called Tracing Atoms: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Atomic Landscapes.

How Hanford’s Scientists Recreated Nature

On October 7, I read this paper “How Hanford’s Environmental Scientists Recreated Nature in the most Polluted Place in the US.” This was my final project for the Resident Scholar Program at OSU Library Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Many thanks to the folks at SCARC for this great opportunity. Also thanks to Robert Peckyno…

History of the Environment on the Rails

With summer drawing to a close, I took the opportunity to ride the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Albany, Oregon to Union Station in Los Angeles. I’d never taken the train for such a long trip, 28 hours each way. On such a long trip landscapes pass by, fixed in their space but transient in the…

Hanford in the Press

It’s nice to see Hanford make the international news, even if it is over the tortuous cleanup process. In this June 2014 piece for the BBC News Magazine, Taylor Kate Brown does a good job of telling Hanford’s story in a nutshell. She also makes a nice mention of Dr. Kate Brown’s thoroughly researched new book Plutopia, a comparative…

An Uncertain Future

From the LA Times: the Department of Energy officially ends the surcharge that would pay for a high-level waste depository. The storage of High-level Waste (HLW) continues to present both a technological and social problem in the United States. HLW exists in a flurry of questions: What geological locale will provide the best long-term storage…

Hanford Reach National Monument

At the March, 2014, meeting of the Columbia History of Science Group in Friday Harbor, I gave a talk entitled: “Hanford Reach: Ironic Preservation or the Same Old Mission.” In the talk I discussed the history of the areas at the Hanford Nuclear Site that have become Hanford Reach National Monument. Hanford is unique among…

Wilderness Act Turns 50

Wilderness Act Turns 50 A post I wrote on the Wilderness Act for the OSU School of History, Science, and Religion’s blog. It can also be seen at OSU’s Spring Creek Project.