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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Hanford Nuclear Reservation

State, feds nix each others Hanford plans

OLYMPIA — Washington rejected the U.S. Energy Department's latest plan for the cleanup of leaking tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The federal government, in turn, rejected the state's counter offer, setting up the prospect that they could be headed back to court with their long-running dispute over one of the nation's biggest nuclear cleanups. . . 

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WA to US: Hanford plan’s a no-go

OLYMPIA — Washington is rejecting the U.S. Energy Department's latest plan for the cleanup of leaking tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

In a letter today to the Justice Department, Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the proposal DOE made last moth to amend the 2010 plan on cleaning up the waste is too vague. The Energy Department has fallen behind on its timetable to clean up waste left over from years of production for the nation's nuclear weapons, and came up with a revision.

“Energy's proposal lacks sufficient specificity, accountability and enforceability,” Inslee said. 

The state has its own plan, which it considers more specific. If DOE rejects Washington's plan — which could happen later today — the state could go to “dispute resolution,” which involves a 40-day period of negotiations. If there's no agreement there, the state could go to federal court and ask a judge to order the department to use the state's plan.

Inslee to Energy Dept: Time’s up on Hanford delays

OLYMPIA – Northwest residents need more than vague plans and missed deadlines for the cleanup of nuclear waste at Hanford, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday.

If the federal government doesn’t come up with a more specific plan or agree to one proposed by the state over the next two months, Washington will go back to court to try to force the U.S. Department of Energy to act. . . 

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Inslee hints at state action over Hanford cleanup

OLYMPIA – The federal government's latest plan to cleanup nuclear waste at Hanford is short on details and the state is considering its options to force a better one, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday. . . 

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Murray questions OMB head about Hanford cuts

WASHINGTON - Sen. Patty Murray continued her criticism of President Obama's proposed cuts for cleanup of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, taking his budget director to task at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee which she leads.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Office of Management and Budget director, defended the proposed Hanford cuts, as well as the rest of the president's budget, during this morning's hearing.

“A number of those programs are for pieces of work that have been completed,” Burwell said. “The administration is committed to make the progress we need at Hanford.”

Murray wasn't convinced: “Yeah, well we have really serious challenges in making progress at these nuclear clean up sites across the country,” she said. “We need a long term, sustainable plan for this.”

The Department of Energy said Tuesday it has made significant progress at the site and has shrunk the size of the cleanup area. As a result, the department plans to shift money to other cleanup sites.

In January, Congress approved $2.15 billion for cleanup at the nuclear weapons facility. Obama's budget has $2.083 billion.

Court to Obama: Follow the law on waste repository

The federal government must resume work on the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada that would store the high-level nuclear waste from Hanford and other sites around the country, a federal appeals court said today.
In what amounts to a judicial smackdown of the Obama administration, the court said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Obama administration can't override Congress, which ordered the repository built in 2002.
Washington state, which is the home to an estimated 56 million gallons of highly toxic nuclear waste from the production of nuclear warheads at Hanford, had joined the lawsuit against the commission. Along with South Carolina and some residents of the Tri-Cities, Washington sought a writ of mandamus, or order from the court for the federal government to follow the law.  Today they got what they wanted …
  

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Sunday Spin: Helping to understand Hanford

OLYMPIA –As most of official Olympia repeatedly hit the “refresh” button Thursday morning on their computers to catch the state Supremes’ decision on tax supermajorities as soon as possible, a handful of legislators got a briefing on something with the potential for far more impact to the state.

Jane Hedges of the state Department of Ecology explained the intricacies of nuclear waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, doing her best to calm the uproar over recent news that six of the supposedly stable tanks are, in fact, leaking.

Trying to explain most things at Hanford to laypersons can be a Herculean task. . .

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Come on by

Sen. Patty Murray wants the nation’s new energy czar to come West for a visit.

A visit to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, that is. At a budget hearing Wednesday, Murray, D-Wash., extended the invite to Energy Secretary Steven Chu to stop by Hanford and the Pacific Northwest Nuclear Labs at his earliest convenience.

Chu didn’t exactly whip out his Day Planner and write something in, as the audio clip shows. He allowed as how he’s planning on coming out to Washington at some point.

With a stop at Hanford and PNNL? Murray pressed.

“We haven’t made those plans,” Chu replied.

“We’ll help you plan,” she said, helpfully.

Let’s see, that planning should probably include . . .

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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