Skip to main content

Hanford Speakers Bureau Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hanford?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manages the Hanford Site located in southeastern Washington State. Positioned along the Columbia River on 580 square miles of desert land, the region houses nine former nuclear reactors and hundreds of associated processing facilities built to produce the plutonium that supported the nation’s efforts during World War II and throughout the cold War.

Plutonium production at Hanford ended in 1989 and the focus of the Hanford Site changed to environmental restoration: cleaning up millions of gallons of liquid waste and millions of tons of solid waste generated by more than 40 years of producing plutonium.

'Hanford Speakers Bureau'

Today the Hanford Site is engaged in one of the largest environmental cleanup efforts in the nation, and much progress has been made. Hanford’s story captivates the interest of audiences in the Pacific Northwest and across the United States. DOE offers opportunities to learn about Hanford’s role in the nation’s history and to hear about cleanup progress and challenges through the Hanford Speakers Bureau.

What is the Hanford Speakers Bureau?
The Hanford Speakers Bureau is a regional outreach program. Its goal is to provide timely and accurate information about the Hanford Site and foster a dialogue with local, regional, statewide, and national audiences. Experienced, knowledgeable DOE and/or Hanford contractor representatives are available to share general or topic-specific information about Hanford with your organization.


What are some of the topics covered by the Hanford Speakers Bureau?
The presentation covers various strategies for cleaning up the Hanford Site.

Speakers can describe any or all of the following:

  • Hanford’s role in the Manhattan Project (1943-1946) and Cold War (1946-1989)
  • More than 30 years of cleanup progress and the preparations to shift the site to 24/7 operations to treat millions of gallons of radioactive and chemical waste from large underground tanks
  • Hanford’s robust groundwater program
  • An overview of current cleanup projects utilizing Hanford’s virtual tour website

Speakers have travelled throughout the Pacific Northwest addressing vastly diverse audiences from chambers of commerce, rotary clubs, academic institutions, professional organizations and even K-12 students.

Is there a cost associated with requesting a speaker to come to our organization?
No, there is not a cost to your organization. DOE covers all costs associated with our Speakers Bureau program.

How long is a presentation?
We will work with you to meet your organization’s needs and schedule. The most frequent request is for a 20 – 25 minute presentation followed by a question and answer period. 

How can I arrange for a speaker to come speak with my organization/school? 
If you are interested in arranging for a presentation or learning more about the Hanford Speakers Bureau, you may contact us by:

1. Calling Coleen Drinkard at 509-376-6968 to arrange a presentation

2. Emailing your request to

3. Completing the Hanford Speakers Bureau Request form


Last Updated 06/19/2023 9:13 AM