DOE’s oversight at Hanford slammed in government report via The Seattle Times

By Hal Bernton

Repeated engineering errors, construction deficiencies and other problems have repeatedly cropped up in the yearslong effort to build Hanford’s waste-treatment plant — issues serious enough to warrant possible work stoppages for some parts of the project according to a congressional report released Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report also found that federal Energy Department quality-assurance officials assigned to the waste-treatment project have sometimes had their findings altered by upper managers on the project who face “immense pressure” to meet cost and schedule targets.


A Hanford watchdog said the report’s findings echo the warnings of whistleblowers who for years have flagged safety problems.

Tom Carpenter, executive director of the Seattle-based Hanford Challenge, called for an independent assessment of the project by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“This is a quality-assurance program that is in deep trouble and this entire project is in deep trouble.”

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