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Federal Oversight Team Visits Hanford This Week

RICHLAND, Wash. – An independent oversight team from the Department of Energy is visiting the Hanford Nuclear Reservation this week.

The agency is called the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security or HSS. It’s responsible for enforcing the Energy department’s self-regulation of nuclear safety, worker health and safety and information security.

Energy officials, speaking on background, say the team is here at Hanford to conduct an ongoing enforcement investigation on design and safety basis issues. This inquiry follows several other investigations into the nuclear site and the massive waste treatment plant being built here.

That plant amid the sagebrush of southeast Washington costs $12 billion. It’s intended to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste now stored near the Columbia River.

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