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Hanford Resolution

Washington State Public Health Association
2007 - Resolution 5


Resolution 07-05


WHEREAS every resident in Washington State has an equal right to conditions that protect and promote human health, including a healthy and safe environment; and

WHEREAS Washington State recognizes that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” and a fundamental human right 1 ; and

WHEREAS humans have a responsibility to protect and nourish the greater biotic community of animals and plants by ensuring a healthy environment; and

WHEREAS the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington is the most contaminated site in North America, with 53 million gallons of high-level nuclear waste in aging underground tanks; and

WHEREAS one-third of Hanford’s 177 underground tanks are known to have leaked; and

WHEREAS the groundwater beneath Hanford is contaminated, with at least 10 contaminants exceeding the EPA’s drinking water standard; and

WHEREAS the groundwater at Hanford is migrating to the Columbia River, which provides drinking water for the Tri-Cities; and

WHEREAS people use the Columbia River for recreation and consume fish from the river; and

WHEREAS Hanford is being considered as a “hosting facility” for the Bush administration’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership 2 ; and

WHEREAS a Tri-City group 3 has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy to make Hanford a reprocessing center for spent nuclear fuel from the proposed nuclear expansion; and

WHEREAS spent nuclear fuel would be transported to Hanford from around the country; and

WHEREAS the National Academies of Science state 4 that no exposure to radiation has been proven safe;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the WSPHA opposes any new production activities at Hanford that would create radioactive waste until existing nuclear waste is in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws; and be it further

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the WSPHA opposes the import of high-level nuclear waste to Hanford until existing waste is in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws; and be it further

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that should Hanford become compliant with all nuclear waste laws, shipment of new nuclear waste to Hanford will not proceed until an independent risk assessment has been completed ensuring public health along transportation routes.  

Signed by: Rick Porso, WSPHA President 2006-2007

Submitted by:

Contact Name: Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT

Agency: INND (Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders)

Agency Address: 8232 14th Ave. NE

City, State, Zip: Seattle, WA 98115

Phone: 206.527-0962


Endorsed by:

Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility


1 WHO Alma-Ata Declaration (1978)

2 U.S. Department of Energy at

3 U.S. Department of Energy at

4 National Academies of Science, Biologic Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII: Health Risks

from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, June 2005.


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