For more than 70 years, the government has treated the Tri-Cities better than any other community in America. Fear-mongers everywhere on the political spectrum have propagated the fiction that without a Rolls-Royce cleanup effort, we and everyone downstream of Hanford are doomed to certain cancer. We love the money, so no one is willling to speak out for taxpayers outside this privileged region.
Credible risk assessments have repeatedly shown that with a cleanup program just a fraction of the current effort, risks could be minimized for current and future generations. Billions are wasted on vitrification, even for low-activitiy waste, when simply filling waste tanks with grout and a few other cheap materials might simply ultimately allow waste to trickle out over many thousands of years, certainly never reaching harmful concentrations anyplace where it might be ingested by humans through any credible uptake scenarios.
Perhaps it's time to cease this hypocrisy of screaming against government waste while enjoying the enormous benefits of unnecessary "cleanup." We don't intend to return this land to the farmers and Native Americans from whom it was stolen, so let's just pack up and leave, just like we did in Detroit after it similarly contributed to victory in World War II.
MARTIN BENSKY, Richland