Al Jazeera America recently ran my article about the forgotten victims of the Manhattan Project. The experience was extraordinary…and I’m losing track of all the ironies.
Congress voted in December 2014 to create a National Historical Park in my home town of Richland, Washington. Richland is the site of the plutonium-producing Hanford B-Reactor, one of the worst non-bomb radiation poisoners of civilians in history. Civic leaders in Richland are drinking to the anticipated tourism boom from the Historical Park. I’m reminded of how forgotten we Downwinders–who have become ill or died from Hanford radiation exposure–have become.
The US government supported the Hanford plant then, and the National Park now, even though the leaky Hanford underground tanks today still store at least 350 million curies of radioactive waste. We survivors are still fighting for justice and help.
I battle constantly to get heard in Richland, and in the courts. Yet Al Jazeera America, whose parent company is owned by the government of Qatar, welcomed my story. They were utterly professional and checked every fact.
The Downwinders stand ready to meet with the TriCities Tourism and Development Group. We hope to integrate the story of the suffering of the Downwinders into the story to be told and preserved within the Manhattan Project National Park.