Federal Report Says Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant Construction Still In Question
A federal watchdog agency said Wednesday that it’s hard to prove that Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant is safe.
A plant that will treat some of the nation’s nastiest radioactive sludge has to be carefully built, and each step documented. But the Government Accountability Office said in its report that the Department of Energy isn’t holding its contractor accountable, and that the agency and its prime contractor, Bechtel, might not be able to fully document the safety of the plant until around Christmas.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden called that unacceptable.
“The Department of Energy and the private contractor have still been unable to produce, at my request, the paperwork necessary to show whether the steel used at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant is safe,” the Democratic senator said.
The report also founds the U.S. Energy department’s quality assurance experts might not be independent enough to oversee the contractor.
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From 1949 to 1989, the massive plant’s job was to turn caustic liquids containing plutonium into solid plutonium “buttons,” as they were known. The finished buttons were about the size of hockey pucks and were used for America’s nuclear weapons. Continue Reading Hanford’s Long-Shuttered Plutonium Finishing Plant Is Now Demolished After Delays, Safety Issues
Washington Department of Ecology leaders say without access to this data, they can’t effectively protect the land, air and water for residents in eastern Washington and surrounding communities. They say they’ve attempted to negotiate this issue with federal Energy managers for years. Continue Reading Washington State Regulators Fine Feds More Than $1 Million Over Hanford Cleanup Data
At Hanford, in southeastern Washington, contractors have just completed much of the demo work at the site’s Plutonium Finishing Plant. But now crews have to finish the job. And that’s the tough part. Continue Reading Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant Demolition Job Reaches Even More Delicate Phase