RICHLAND – The U.S. Department of Energy has doubts that a massive nuclear waste treatment plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation can open by a 2022 deadline.
But the agency has not notified the state of Washington that legal deadlines for the project are at risk.
Instead, the Tri-City Herald reported the agency has directed contractor Bechtel National to improve its performance.
Bechtel is building the $17 billion plant intended to turn liquid nuclear wastes into glass-like logs for burial. The project has been plagued by safety and design issues.
Hanford is located near Richland and for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons. The site contains a huge volume of radioactive wastes.
Bechtel’s contract requires it to start treating radioactive waste by 2022. Construction on the plant started in 2002.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter