Washington's Hanford Reservation And Nuclear Plant May Lie On Faults

Until recently, the extensive seismic hazards of western Washington were treated separately from those east of the Cascades, which were thought to be smaller and farther from population centers. But new evidence suggests a fault may exist in the mountains above the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the Northwest's only commercial nuclear plant, the Columbia Generating Station. Should it span the mountains as part of an interconnected fault system, it could mean emergency planners have significantly underestimated eastern Washington's earthquake risks.