Hanford: North America's Fukushima

The Portland Occupier liveblog's from Richland, Washington, at the A15 rally against the Hanford Nuclear Site.

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  1. Welcome to the Liveblog for April 15th. I'm Adam Rothstein, and I'll be editing, with help from our correspondents in the field. We're trying out using Storify for the blog, as you can see. New updates will be at the top, in reverse chronological order.
  2. 5:00 PM - The media van is headed home, as the rally wraps up. Thanks for reading! Liked the Storify format? Hated it? Other suggestions? Let us know in the comments.
  3. 4:11 PM - Speeches still going on here in Richland. Occupiers are enjoying the warm sun, on the day that bears its name.
  4. 3:00 PM - A lot of Cascadian love here today. Here's a rousing anthem from Little Bear and the Fostervillagers.
  5. 2:40 PM - An animated video about the on the history and some of the environmental issues with the Hanford site.
  6. What's in Hanford's Backyard?
  7. 2:27 PM - Our correspondent Christina Schull reports on Helen Caldicott's speech:

    Dr. Caldicott gave a rousing speech this afternoon. She discussed the amount of plutonium produced in Hanford and how it could produce 77,000 nuclear bombs. She anknowledged the police present, and said she doesn’t know why they are here, that this is an issue for everyone, and police must have children too.

    Dr. Caldicott spoke extensively of the harm that even the smallest amount of radiation creates, describing that a millionth of a gram can get into ones lungs, causing pain in the chest 5-7 years later as lung cancer, and eventually death. She explained how a single particle of plutonium can be passed to offspring, causing deformities. She said that Hanford makes “HUGE, HUGE, HUGE” quantities of plutonium, and called Bechtel a “wicked organization.” She said the US government is “full of corporate prostitutes” and encouraged women to start taking a larger role in government. She then went on to paint a picture of what a global nuclear apocalypse would look like, with the sun blocked out by fallout, life would disappear in less than 10 years. 

    Dr. Caldicott said, “Occupy is the most exciting thing I’ve seen in 20 years. You have such a responsibility on your shoulders.” She then described how the US could become a great example on how to save the planet, using electric, solar, and other forms of renewable energy. She finished her speech with, “Happiness comes from helping children in a hospital, from teaching in a school, and working with wonderful people and saving the planet. We’re here to serve, not to make ourselves happy.”
  8. 2:18 PM - Here's a sampling of local news coverage in the Tri-Cities area about the rally in Richland.
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