Skip to main content


The Hanford Site (also known as the Hanford Reservation) occupies approximately 1,450 km2 (560 square miles) along the Columbia River in south-central Washington, north of the city of Richland. The site was established by the federal government in 1943 to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. Currently, the mission of the site, under the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is management of wastes generated by the weapons program and remediation of the environment contaminated by that waste. As part of that mission, DOE and the State of Washington Department of Ecology prepared the Hanford Site Tank Waste Remediation System Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The Hanford Tanks is a general review of the DEIS. Its findings and recommendations are the subject of this report. Selection of a disposition plan for these wastes is a decision of national importance, involving potential environmental and health risks, technical challenges, and costs of tens to hundreds of billions of dollars. The last comprehensive analysis of these issues was completed 10 years ago, and several major changes in plans have occurred since. Therefore, the current reevaluation is timely and prudent. This report endorses the decision to prepare this new environmental impact statement, and in particular the decision to evaluate a wide range of alternatives not restricted to those encouraged by current regulatory policies.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 1996. The Hanford Tanks: Environmental Impacts and Policy Choices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

76 pages | 6 x 9 | Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-05585-7

What is skim?

The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses.If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:

Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
Tel: 978/777-9929

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.

To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, pleaseclick here to view more information.

Loading stats for The Hanford Tanks: Environmental Impacts and Policy Choices...