Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:17 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Hanford workers raise safety concerns, test DOE commitment

As more Hanford workers come forward with safety concerns, the Department of Energy's commitment to listen and protect them will be tested.
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – More Hanford workers are starting to raise safety concerns about a massive nuclear waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington.

A federal nuclear watchdog agency has called the safety culture at the Hanford facility “flawed.” That finding is bolstered by a string of new letters from workers who say they have firsthand knowledge of problems at the plant.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:55 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Layoff notices for up to 1,200 Hanford workers

RICHLAND, Wash. — Hanford nuclear reservation cleanup contractors are beginning Thursday to notify up to 1,200 workers they will be laid off at the end of September.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:42 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Hanford cleans up underground trench waste ahead of schedule

Workers secure a box of low level waste for shipment at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers have retrieved a key portion of radioactive waste ahead of schedule. That announcement came from the federal government today.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
5:11 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Update: Hanford whisleblower says DOE too cozy with contractors

Hanford whistleblower says contractors have too cozy a relationship with Department of Energy.
Courtesy of Hanford Contractor Bechtel

RICHLAND, Wash. – A high-level Hanford whistleblower is accusing the Department of Energy of being too cozy with its contractors at the federal nuclear reservation.

Walter Tamosaitis made that accusation in a letter released Monday. (Updated with link to a copy of the letter.)

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
11:17 am
Mon July 18, 2011

New book looks at Hanford’s role in the Atomic Age

RICHLAND, Wash. – A new book explores how southeast Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation helped shape the Atomic Age. It's called "Made in Hanford: The bomb that changed the world."

Hill Williams says perhaps the most surprising thing he found through his research was how closely linked his life has been to the development of nuclear weapons.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:28 am
Fri July 15, 2011

House move on Yucca nuke repository could help Hanford

RICHLAND, Wash. – A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would breathe new life into the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The House will vote today on a larger spending bill that includes a budget increase for reviewing the project.

Some nuclear cleanup advocates are concerned that if Yucca Mountain doesn't open, it could mean high level waste could be permanently stored at Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:26 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Hanford’s B Reactor put up for National Park Status

The National Park Service Wednesday gave its support to turning part of the Hanford nuclear site into a new national park.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says Hanford's historic B Reactor deserves park status in order to tell the story of the race to build the atomic bomb. 

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:53 am
Tue July 12, 2011

New investigation planned into Hanford’s safety culture

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Energy plans to launch a new investigation into safety culture at Hanford’s waste treatment plant, Deputy Secretary Dan Poneman reported to workers at the plant on Monday.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:23 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Energy's deputy secretary to address safety at Hanford

RICHLAND, Wash. – The number two manager at the U.S. Department of Energy is scheduled to speak to workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation today. The visit comes after criticism of Hanford's safety culture by a federal nuclear safety watchdog.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
6:30 pm
Mon July 4, 2011

Tamosaitis talks about life after blowing the whistle on Hanford

RICHLAND, Wash. – For the last year federal nuclear regulators have been in a battle with the U.S. Department of Energy. The debate? Whether the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant is safe enough.

The other big question is whether Hanford workers feel safe to raise concerns without fear of retaliation.

The man at the center of this battle is a well-respected nuclear engineer who used to help manage the design of the waste treatment plant ... that is until he stood up and said there were serious problems there.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:57 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Hanford employees told to 'reach out' with safety concerns

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Energy says it doesn't agree with the finding that the safety culture at Hanford is "flawed." Even so, the department says that it's working to make improvements at the waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington.

That's the upshot of a letter released Friday after a federal nuclear watchdog raised questions about Hanford’s massive plant.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:54 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Hanford safety board reacts to energy secretary Chu’s letter

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Energy says it believes its safety culture at Hanford is “strong.” But the agency said in letter Friday it’s also working to make improvements. The letter is a response to criticism from a federal nuclear watchdog that called Energy’s safety culture at Hanford’s waste treatment plant “flawed.”

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
1:50 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

DOE Poneman's letter to Hanford employees

To the EM community - 

The safety of the DOE workforce and the communities around our facilities is of the utmost importance to Secretary Chu and is something that requires constant vigilance.  As he says regularly, "We must always be looking for ways to strengthen our approach to safety and foster a questioning attitude at each of our sites."   

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
1:36 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

DOE writes employees about criticism of Hanford safety

RICHLAND, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Energy is defending its safety culture at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington. The agency sent its workers a letter in response to harsh criticism this month in a report by a federal nuclear watchdog.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
3:58 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Statement on safety at Hanford by Bechtel

Suzanne Heaston, Bechtel’s spokeswoman in Richland. (Bechtel is the prime waste treatment plant contractor.)

WTP management and employees are fully committed to a strong nuclear safety and quality culture, and we welcome every opportunity to improve it. We will work with the DOE to carefully study the DNFSB report and any supporting information provided to identify further opportunities for enhancement.

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