Arrow-right Camera
News >  Washington

Doubts raised that massive Hanford plant could open by 2022

UPDATED: Fri., March 30, 2018, 9:31 p.m.

In this file June 13, 2017 photo, the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, right, stands adjacent to a dirt-covered rail tunnel, left, containing radioactive waste, amidst desert plants on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. (Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press)
In this file June 13, 2017 photo, the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, right, stands adjacent to a dirt-covered rail tunnel, left, containing radioactive waste, amidst desert plants on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. (Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press)

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

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!