On May 22, GAP’s American Whistleblower Tour: Essential Voices for Accountability will makes its final stop of the 2012-13 at Portland State University in Oregon. The tour – which offers dynamic educational presentations on the phenomenon of whistleblowing at universities around the country – will use this stop to focus on historical dangers posed by the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in nearby Washington state, focusing on what the repeatedly botched cleanup process means for the community.

The tour is elated to have as its speakers the foremost experts dealing with long-standing issues of Hanford, which is the most contaminated nuclear site in the country. On panelist is Walt Tamosaitis, former Deputy Chief Process Engineer and Research & Technology Manager for the Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford, himself a whistleblower with federal and state suits filed against site contractors Bechtel and URS. Also speaking will be Tom Carpenter, Executive Director at Hanford Challenge – a GAP spin-off organization protecting employees of the Hanford Nuclear Facility. Carpenter has devoted himself to the issues created by Hanford for many years and previously directed GAP’s Nuclear Oversight Campaign, which represented whistleblowers from various nuclear sites around the country. GAP Senior Fellow & Tour Director Dana Gold will host.

This event is particularly timely, as startling news about Hanford continues to break. Over the last several months, media reports have detailed that federal and state officials acknowledged six underground tanks areleaking radioactive material (February), 14 other tanks may be leaking (March), the leaking of a double-shelled tank took a contractor and federal officials more than a year to announce to the public (April), and an accomplished engineer recommended halting the notoriously problematic Waste Treatment Plant due to safety concerns (December). Just last week, it was revealed that the Department of Energy has provided contractors with more than $1 million of taxpayer dollars to fight Tamosaitis.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held in on the Portland State University campus in the Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 22. We hope to see you there!

Jack Davis is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leadingwhistleblower protection and advocacy organization.