Karen Dorn Steele: It's April 29, 2019. Our first interview is with F. Robert Cook, a retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission overseer at Hanford Reservation. First, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background—where you grew up and something about your early education?
Government Accountability Office
Bob Cook is a nuclear engineer. He began his career by working with Naval Reactors and he helped create the structural design base for reactors, which later became the design basis for all nuclear power plants. From 1963 to 1988 he worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He also worked as a consultant for the Yakama Nation.
Tom Carpenter is a lawyer and the executive director of Hanford Challenge, a nonprofit watchdog and advocacy organization focused on the Hanford Nuclear Site. In this interview, Carpenter discusses founding the Hanford Challenge, and the struggle to enforce safety and environmental protocols at reprocessing plants in Cincinnati and Hanford. He describes the challenges of the cleanup effort at Hanford, including the waste tanks and the problems that have plagued the construction of the Vitrification Plant.