Obama Stumped by Question About WA Nuclear Cleanup
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was stumped this weekend when a woman asked him about cleanup at the nation's most contaminated nuclear area: the Hanford site in Washington state where scientists helped create the atomic bomb. Obama admitted he didn't know much about the problem, but promised he would learn about it. At a campaign stop in Pendleton, Ore., yesterday, Obama said: "Here's something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and that is that I'm not familiar with the Hanford site, so I don't know exactly what's going on there." A spokesman for the Republican National Committee called Obama's answer proof the Illinois senator has little understanding of issues that are important to families in Oregon and Washington. During a visit to Washington state last week, Republican John McCain said he would speed cleanup efforts at Hanford and push for technological advances in disposing of nuclear waste. RNC spokesman Paul Lindsay asked: "How can Obama deliver change if he doesn't even understand what needs to be changed?" The federal government created Hanford in the 1940s as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. The government now spends about $2 billion a year to clean up the site.
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