Department of Energy Sends Letter to Inslee


The federal budget cuts known as sequestration may slow the progress of dealing with tanks leaking radioactive waste at the Hanford site.

Today the Deputy Secretary of Energy sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee stating that 171-million dollars will be slashed from the Hanford budget this year.

That's 79-million dollars from the Department of Energy's Richland office, which could result in layoffs or furloughs for 19-hundred contractors.  An additional 92-million is being cut from the Office of River Protection-- which could mean furloughs or layoffs for another 28-hundred workers.

Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Ponemon says, "While the Department remains committed to its clean-up effort at Hanford, this decreased funding and the resultiing contractor employment actions may curtail our progress related to closing the aging- and in some cases leaking- single shell tanks storing over 25 million gallons of liquid radioactive waste at the Hanford site."

The letter in its entirety is below.