AUTHORGerber, Michele Stenehjem
TITLEOn the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site
PUBLISHERUniversity of Nebraska Press
CITYLincoln, NE

This book chronicles the life of the Hanford Site in Washington, which produced plutonium for bombs in World War II and the Cold War. Gerber synthesizes the tens of thousands of government documents declassified starting in the eighties. These documents and her story reveal the secrets of construction, operation, and maintenance of the site. The most controversial and compelling aspect of her story describes the consistent pollution of the air, land, and water in Washington with some of the contaminant byproducts of plutonium production. The book’s first chapter describes the natural landscape and the Columbia River’s role in its history. Gerber traces the pattern of the perceived need for nuclear weapon production outweighing environmental and radiological concerns. She thoroughly treats all aspects of the environmental problems at Hanford, and includes a section on the cancerous and genetic damage of radiation. Extensive footnotes provide definitions and excellent references.

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