Second Prize

Category: Excellence in Environmental Journalism

Author: Lois Parshley

Cold War, Hot Mess

The original publication is available via the following link: 

Virginia Quarterly Review

September 29, 2021

After decades of mismanaging its nuclear waste, the US Department of Energy wrestles with its toxic legacy.

In August 2015, Abe Garza and a small crew of technicians headed out across the scrub plains of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which sprawls over hundreds of square miles in eastern Washington. They were planning a routine inspection of the site’s holding tanks, which contain millions of gallons of nuclear waste, created over decades as the site produced two-thirds of the country’s plutonium. Read more