Department of Energy Comes Down Hard on Bechtel and Hanford Cleanup

After allegations of mismanagement at Hanford’s $12.2 billion Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) surfaced in our first investigation on the issue last October, and in another in-depth report in February, the Department of Energy (DOE) decided to take a closer look – shipping off their auditors to Eastern Washington.

In a damning report released this morning, the DOE Office of Inspector General found that Bechtel, the outfit hired to build the plant that is to one day turn Hanford’s nuke waste into glass, has not held up its end of the contract. In fact, the report finds Bechtel is continuing to get paid to produce less than adequate work.

First is the case of the missing money. According to the report Bechtel made off with a cool $15 million after the company was awarded funds as an incentive fee for producing vessels that are to operate inside WTP. The DOE paid Bechtel $15 million before realizing the vessel design was defective. The DOE then asked for the taxpayer funds back, but never got it, and Bechtel never reminded them.

Read the rest of this piece at Seattle Weekly.

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