Department of Ecology News Release - August 9, 2016

U.S. Department of Energy fined $50,000 for dangerous waste violations at Hanford

RICHLAND – The Washington State Department of Ecology issued a $50,000 penalty to the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) for mishandling dangerous waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington.

Ecology also ordered Energy and its contractor to designate waste, obtain detailed analysis of dangerous waste before storing, and properly maintain records.

“Our inspectors have repeatedly cited Energy and its contractors for the same violations at the T-Plant,” said Alex Smith, Ecology’s Nuclear Waste program manager. “This is the most fundamental purpose of dangerous waste management. For everyone’s safety, dangerous waste at this nuclear facility must be properly managed and stored.”    

The T-Plant is an active facility that stores and treats dangerous waste as part of the long-term cleanup work at Hanford. Originally, the T-Plant was built for chemical separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products contained in irradiated fuel elements. 

Energy and CHPRC have the right to appeal the order and penalty within 30 days to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board. Contractors working for Energy may not use cleanup funds to pay for penalties. 

Contact:

Randy Bradbury, Communications Manager, 509-372-7954, @ecyhanford

John Price, Section Manager, 509-372-7921