Bechtel Releases Its Plan To Improve Safety Culture At Hanford

May 23, 2012

A major government contractor on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has a new plan to improve its safety culture. Bechtel has come under sharp criticism by federal nuclear watchdogs. Correspondent Anna King has more.

Bechtel’s new plan aims to resolve problem spots by this year or next. Here’s one standout detail: Bechtel now says it will have to re-do its hazard analysis on the complex pretreatment facility. That’s part of the massive Waste Treatment Plant designed to process 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. It raises the possibility that many parts of the expensive pretreatment plant might have to be redesigned or rebuilt.

The company also says it wants to get better at self-identifying its own issues early on. Meanwhile, the federal Government Accountability Office also put out a report. It says federal Hanford managers have instituted new safety policies before figuring out whether the changes will cost more or hurt productivity.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio