STANDING UP FOR PUBLIC SAFETY #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes When chemist Sonja Anderson became a senior scientist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 1987, she says she "was so dumb I thought they wanted me to do a good job." Since she'd gotten got her first job at Hanford ten years earlier, Anderson had been given assignments with increasing responsibility, frequent commendations, and substantial pay increases. But when she was promoted to do independent overview of tank farm (nuclear waste storage) safety, everything changed. Higher-ups suppressed her detailed reports on safety problems. For months she saw the company's safety compliance reports going to the Department of Energy and to Congress without addressing, or even mentioning, the problems she was raising. Then in 1990, an official from DOE, making an on-site inspection, questioned her and got the truth. The official took her information to Congress, and her reports became public. Targeted as a troublemaker at Hanford, Anderson and her family were subjected to a campaign of harassment that included threatening phone messages and more than 50 bizarre break-ins in two years. In January 1991 she got a phone call from a newly-employed engineer asking for her help on the "S.I. Anderson Project." She played dumb, asking for details, and learned that fellow employees had been assigned to defend against reports she had written about unsafe storage tank conditions. After her boss told her repeatedly that he wanted her out of safety work, Anderson finally went to the Government Accountability Project for advice. She got a different job at Hanford, but she reports being, "treated like road kill." Her reports, which GAP describes as "incredibly accurate," resulted in the initiation of four federal investigations of possible safety violations.