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?
Three Mile Island
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.
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, in Washington, DC. It is June 27, 2018, and I have with me Glenn Schweitzer. My first question is to ask him to please say and spell his name.
Glenn Schweitzer: I am Glenn Schweitzer, G-l-e-n-n S-c-h-w-e-i-t-z-e-r.
Schweitzer: No errors.
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.
Cindy Kelly: Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly, I’m in Alexandria, Virginia. It is January 9th, 2017. I have with me Milton Levenson. My first question to him is to please say his name and then spell it.
Levenson: My name is Milton Levenson. No middle name. M-i-l-t-o-n, and Levenson is L-e-v-e-n-s-o-n.
Kelly: Terrific. At any rate, let’s begin with the beginning. Tell us, if you would, when you were born and where, and something about your childhood.
William Lowe: I was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in the year 1920. Within a few years, my parents had moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where I grew up. But upon reaching 18, I went to college at Purdue University. It was 700 miles from home. By train, it took a day.
I would say that my 93 years have been dominated by atomic bombs, war, in particular World War II, and later by peaceful uses of atomic energy. What I will do is try to convey, more or less chronologically, what happened.