People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu November 7, 2013
Hanford Whistleblower Case Goes Before Federal Court In Seattle
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:04 pm
Nuclear engineer Walt Tamosaitis says he was removed from his position because he brought up safety concerns.
Now a three-judge appeals court panel is considering the case of the well-known Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower. Oral arguments happened Thursday.
Tamosaitis argues that he was pressured, demoted and then let go by his employer, a Hanford contractor called URS. This, after he questioned the safety of a massive factory being built to treat nuclear waste at the Hanford site.
In a full courtroom in downtown Seattle, lawyers argued back and forth over the technicalities of the case.
The U.S. Department of Energy said it should be dropped from the lawsuit, saying it isn’t Tamosaitis’ employer, although it manages the Waste Treatment Plant project. Hanford contractor URS says it does not agree that Tamosaitis suffered retaliation.
Tamosaitis’ lawyer counters that the whistleblower has been treated unfairly, and should be able to bring his case to a jury of his peers.
The three judges did not indicate when they would release a decision.
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