Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Federal Government Reviewing Hanford Contractor Payments

The federal government is reviewing three years of payments to a major contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The review follows growing concerns about a nuclear waste treatment plant at the southeast Washington site. Correspondent Anna King explains.

Waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Credit Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

The federal Government Accountability Office is looking into the management of the Waste Treatment Plant project in a new report. It’s due out soon. That, and other questions, have spurred the Department of Energy into reviewing payments made to its contractor Bechtel. It’s building a massive factory that’s intended to treat 56,000,000 gallons of radioactive waste. Several high-level whistleblowers raised safety issues with its design and construction. Here’s Carrie Meyer with the Department of Energy.

Meyer: “The Department of Energy determined that it’s prudent to review the fee payments that have occurred between the Department of Energy and Bechtel National for the Waste Treatment Plant since January of 2009.”

A Bechtel spokeswoman says it will respond when the Energy Department asks the company to take action.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio