Hanford Test Site

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Hanford Test Site

Location: Hanford, Washington

The Official Story: Covering 586 square miles, the Hanford site produced plutonium for nuclear weapons from 1944 to 1990. Three formal alerts have occurred in the last 13 years involving chemical explosions.

The Terrible Truth: During the December 1949 Green Run test, a massive cloud of radioactive iodine was released into the atmosphere simply to test recently installed radiological monitoring equipment. Passing over Spokane and reaching as far as the California-Oregon border, the cloud irradiated thousands of unsuspecting people. The current estimate to clean up the site’s waste is 52 billion dollars.

Fun With Atoms: The nearby Richland High School ‘Bombers’ have a mushroom cloud logo on their football helmets.

Quote: “Environmentally, [the Hanford site] is really interesting because there’s all these plants and animals that don’t exist anywhere else.” – Teri Hain, author of Atomic Farmgirl: Growing up right in the wrong place

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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