Programming Note: Darts and Letters is off. We are producing a new season on Cited Podcast, which is called “the Rationality Wars“.

Cited: America’s Chernobyl (2 of 2)

We’re on break for two weeks. But we thought this was a good opportunity to celebrate our predecessor show, Cited Podcast.  America’s Chernobyl is our favourite episode. Here’s part #2.

Hanford is the most-polluted place in America. On our last episode, you heard about the nuclear plant’s largely-forgotten history–how it poisoned the people living downwind. On our season finale: a nuclear safety auditor tries to get it shut down, the downwinders struggle for justice, and we take you into the plant itself. The story of Hanford reveals that expertise is always a political battle, and never as straightforward as simply collecting facts–whether it’s executives putting profit over a safety auditor’s well-documented warnings, a community-based research pitted against government-backed studies, or turning a world-changing nuclear reactor into a dull scientific lecture.


You can also find related articles on our website, Including articles by our research assistant, Nicole Yakashiro, including: a detailed Hanford timeline, as well as the colonial history of the Hanford site. Plus, a transcript.


This is the season finale of Cited’s final season. If you’ve never listened to Cited, you should check it out. Here are some of its best:


We need your support. If you like what you hear, chip in. You can find us on Patreon subscribers usually get the episode a day early, and sometimes will also receive bonus content.

Don’t have the money to chip in this week? Not to fear, you can help in other ways. For one: subscribe, rate, and review our podcast. It helps other people find our work.

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To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to write to us, email or tweet Gordon directly.


This episode was produced Gordon Katic and Polly Leger. With editing support from Acey Rowe. Nicole Yakashiro was our research assistant, and Aurora Tejeida was our fact-checker.

Our theme song and original music is by our composer, Mike BarberDakota Koop is our graphic designer. Our production manager is David Tobiasz, and executive producers are Gordon Katic and Sam Fenn.

We’d like to thank historian Sarah Fox author of “Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West,” as well as Kate Brown, author of “Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters.” Check those out, and also check out Michael D’Antonio’s “Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America’s Nuclear Arsenal.” These books were indispensable to us, and we highly recommend them.

If you want to learn more about the Downwinder lawsuits against Hanford, we recommend: The Hanford Plaintiffs: Voices from the Fight For Atomic Justice. That’s from Trisha T. Pritikin, with a forward from Karen Dorn Steele

Thanks to the many others we talked to along the way– including historians Linda M. Richards and Robert Franklin. As well as, Trisha Pritikin, Tom Carpenter, John Fox, and Maynard Plahuta. Thanks also to Karen Richards who helped record our interview with Patricia Hoover.

This episode was funded in part by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. It’s part of a larger project on the politics of historical commemoration. Professor Eagle Glassheim at the University of British Columbia is the academic lead on that project.

Cited is produced out of the Centre of Ethics at the University of Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. Cited is also produced out of the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia — that’s on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

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