Trisha Pritikin: The Hanford Plaintiffs
Activist and writer Trisha Pritikin will discuss her new book, The Hanford Plaintiffs: Voices from the Fight for Atomic Justice. The Hanford Plaintiffs introduces, with historical context, the stories of infants, children, and young adults exposed to Hanford's airborne and river-borne radioactive fallout. These are the stories of personal injury plaintiffs In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litigation ( In re Hanford), the Hanford Downwinder litigation. Introducing the project will be Karen Dorn Steele, formerly of the Spokesman Review. During her tenure at the newspaper. she broke the story about the Green Run test, in which the U.S. government released radioactive gases in 1949 over areas surrounding the Hanford Site.
Trisha was born and raised in Richland, the formerly government-owned atomic city immediately downwind and downriver of the Hanford nuclear weapons facility on the Columbia River in southeastern Washington State. Trisha is an attorney and former Occupational Therapist. She has worked for over thirty years for justice for those who, like her family, now struggle with, or who have already succumbed to, cancer and other serious illness and disability following exposure to ionizing radiation downwind of Manhattan Project and Cold War nuclear weapons production and testing sites, nuclear waste storage sites, and nuclear reactor accidents. She has served as an appointed citizen advocate on a number of federal advisory boards, and has been an invited speaker in Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, and Tahiti. She has given numerous presentations across the US on the subject of radiation exposure and its health consequences..
Praise for The Hanford Plaitiffs:
"The discussion of health effects from exposure to radioactive contaminants tends to focus on acute effects--cancers and death tolls. Pritikin shows in heart-breaking detail the stockpile of health problems from exposure to radioactivity and how painfully these chronic health problems dismantle lives. A passionate and carefully researched account of the failed fight for atomic justice."-- Kate Brown, author of Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters and Manual for Survival: An Environmental History of the Chernobyl Disaster
"Given the current political climate--North Korea's nuclear threat, the current US administration's provocation of North Korea, the potential unraveling of Iran's nuclear deal, and the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan--Trisha Pritikin's The Hanford Plaintiffs is a timely addition to literature that has addressed the health harm caused by radiation exposure downwind of weapons' production and testing sites as well as from the use of nuclear weapons in warfare; from uranium mining, milling, or transport; from nuclear power plant accidents; and from leaking nuclear waste. Pritikin's work stands out, not only in its description of the plight of the people--called downwinders--in and around the Hanford site but also in its disclosure of the callous disregard of the US government for the innocent citizens it was supposed to protect."--Yuki Miyamoto, PhD, associate professor of religious studies, DePaul University, and author of Beyond the Mushroom Cloud
"The Hanford Plaintiffs is an urgent book for our times. We think we know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the one hand, and Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima on the other. We might imagine that these places stand for events safely consigned to the past or that the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear power are separate affairs. Now we are encountering, once again, cavalier talk about the use of nuclear weapons. The Hanford Plaintiffs opens our eyes to the reality of how the atomic age has played long-term, continuing havoc with whole communities, the environment, and democratic principles in the United States and throughout the world by presenting the life stories of the downwinders of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where the plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb was produced. Pritikin lays out her material methodically, providing the scientific, medical, legal, and historical components important to readers' full understanding."-- Norma Field, PhD, professor emerita, University of Chicago, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and author of In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End
"The Hanford Plaintiffs is an extraordinary and unique exposé of the human results of deliberate releases of huge quantities of radioactive isotopes from the Hanford reactors and nuclear complex over many years of operation."--Helen Caldicott, MD
For more than four decades beginning in 1944, the Hanford nuclear weapons facility in southeastern Washington State secretly blanketed much of the Pacific Northwest with low-dose ionizing radiation, the byproduct of plutonium production.