Hanford Advisory Board Struggles To Bring Forward Safety Culture Advice

Jun 8, 2012

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu plans to visit the Hanford Nuclear Reservation next week to discuss the site’s safety culture. Chu’s fly-in comes just as the Hanford Advisory Board struggles this week to settle on its official advice on the safety culture at the southeast Washington complex. Correspondent Anna King reports.

It’s taken eight months to come up with these three-pages of draft advice. In the document, the citizen panel that advises Hanford asks for more accountability and independent oversight of cleanup projects here. But there were several disgruntled board members, including Jerry Peltier.

Peltier: “I could recommend some changes here and there, but as I go through the advice, I would illuminate the first two bullets, the third bullet, the fourth bullet …"

On the other side, board member Liz Mattson believes pushing for more accountability now will quicken the pace of cleanup at Hanford.

Mattson: “Sometimes it’s easy to think about if we just all agreed, I then it would be so much easier, and I also think that … the agreement is much more powerful because it took a lot of work to get there.”

The advisory board will either vote on the advice or table the discussion until September.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio