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“Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America”

March 25 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EDT

Join us for an in-person book talk with Joshua Frank author of Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state which once was home to the United States’s largest plutonium production site.

About the Book

Once home to the United States’s largest plutonium production site, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state is laced with 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. The threat of an explosive accident at Hanford is all too real—an event that could be more catastrophic than Chernobyl. 

The EPA designated Hanford the most toxic place in America; it is also the most expensive environmental clean-up job the world has ever seen, with a $677 billion price tag that keeps growing. Huge underground tanks, well past their life expectancy and full of boiling radioactive gunk, are leaking, infecting groundwater supplies and threatening the Columbia River. 

Whistleblowers, worried that the worst is ahead, are now speaking out, begging to be heard and hoping their pleas help bring attention to the dire situation at Hanford. Aside from a few feisty community groups and handful of Indigenous activists, there is very little public scrutiny of the clean-up process, which is managed by the Department of Energy and carried out by contractors with shoddy track records, like Bechtel. In the context of renewed support for atomic power as a means of combating climate change, Atomic Days provides a much-needed refutation of the myths of nuclear technology—from weapons to electricity—and shines a spotlight on the ravages of Hanford and its threat to communities, workers and the global environment.

Image of the book cover for Atomic Days, with the subtext 'The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America; Joshua Frank'. The image above the pink text block is a pink, distorted town with a green sky.
An upper-body headshot of Joshua Frank, who is wearing a blue button up and has medium-length brown, curly hair and facial hair.

Joshua Frank is an award-winning California-based journalist and co-editor of the political magazine CounterPunch. He is the editor and co-author of several books. Most recently, he is the author of the book Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America (Haymarket Books 2022).

Eric Draitser is an independent political analyst and host of CounterPunch Radio.

We are committed to lowering the barriers to access for events at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. For people who are hard of hearing or deaf, blind or low-vision, or whose physical limitations can interfere with a satisfying experience, let us know two weeks in advance so we can make appropriate arrangements.

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