Bosses imperil cleanup at Hanford, agency says via The Seattle Times

Managers of a $12.2 billion project to stabilize radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation actively prevent workers from raising serious safety concerns — and sometimes punish those who do, a scathing government investigation has found.

Government managers and contractors overseeing construction of a treatment plant that would turn millions of gallons of nuclear waste into glass have attempted to suppress technical issues that threaten the project’s cost or timeline — even when those issues posed risks to workers or the public, according to the report.

In the past year, workers and several technical papers have suggested that, as designed, parts of the plant could risk explosion or an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction. Others suggested that pipes in parts of the plant could grow so thick with nuclear waste that, if clogged, no human or machine could get in and make repairs.

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