Federal Oversight Team Visits Hanford This Week

May 15, 2012

An independent oversight team from the Department of Energy is visiting the Hanford Nuclear Reservation this week. Richland Correspondent Anna King explains why.

The agency is called the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security or H.S.S. It’s responsible for enforcing the Energy department’s self regulation of nuclear safety, worker health and safety and information security.

Energy officials, speaking on background, say the team’s here at Hanford to conduct an ongoing enforcement investigation on design and safety basis issues. This inquiry follows several other investigations into the nuclear site and the massive waste treatment plant being built here. That plant amid the sagebrush of southeast Washington costs $12 billion. It’s intended to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste now stored near the Columbia River.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio