It is my goal to generate awareness of the human toll of nuclear weapons production and testing activities, and of nuclear reactor disasters. We live in a nuclear world, a world in which the risk of nuclear warfare and potential nuclear annihilation is never far off. We must never hesitate to honor the experience of the world’s Downwinders, to listen to what they can teach us, to ameliorate their suffering, and to pay tribute to those victims of radiation exposure who have already passed on.
~Trisha Thompson Pritikin
Trisha Thompson Pritikin is a Hanford Downwinder and internationally recognized advocate on behalf of populations exposed to Hanford’s offsite radiation releases.
Trisha was born in the idyllic government town of Richland, Washington, in the shadow of Hanford where her father built nuclear bombs. She was raised as an integral member of Richland’s nuclear society. She played in the waters and on the islands of the radioactive Columbia and regularly drank radioactive milk, along with the other children of the town. She understands radiogenic disease on a personal level, as she suffers daily with the debilitating illness that binds her painfully and irretrievably to her past. She understands the bewilderment and grief of losing parents, neighbors, and friends to aggressive cancers plausibly caused by Hanford radiation exposure.
Trisha is well known within the community of individuals and organizations concerned for the welfare of populations exposed to nuclear fallout in the United States and globally. She has served on both regional and federal advisory boards, and has given presentations in the United States and internationally on topics related to the health outcomes of radioactive fallout exposure.
“If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people must unite, or they will perish.” -J. Robert Oppenheimer, October, 1945
This photo was originally published in the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington, under the headline “Fighting Back.” In the photo, Trisha is pictured with a photo of her father, a Hanford nuclear engineer who died from thyroid cancer. The article described Trisha’s lawsuit against the Department of Energy over its failure to fund the medical monitoring program for Hanford Downwinders.