The past, present, and future of Hanford Site is long and complex, dating back well before the site's construction in the 1940s and long into the future beyond today's cleanup efforts.
During the World War II and Cold War years, the site's focus was on plutonium production. Now, efforts are geared at cleanup of one of the most contaminated nuclear sites in the world.
Explore the story of Hanford below.
An overview of the Hanford Site's history, largely from the 1940s to the late 1980s.
The site today
Since the signing of the Tri-Party Agreement in 1989 between our agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we work with the EPA to ensure Energy — Hanford's owner and manager — follows environmental laws and meets cleanup deadlines stipulated in the Tri-Party Agreement governing Hanford cleanup.
Ecology also communicates with the Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation to hear their perspectives and goals for Hanford cleanup.
Cleanup projects today are complex and bountiful. While much has been achieved in the 30-plus years of cleanup so far, countless challenges and dangers remain. Our priority is to oversee cleanup of the Hanford Site and ensure the protection of the area's land, air, and water for current and future generations.
Highlighted below are just some of the site's most important facilities or cleanup projects and their current status. Is there a part of Hanford not described below you'd like to learn more about? Let us know.
Interactive Hanford map
On the map below you can explore the Hanford Site and select individual facilities or areas for more information.