California News

Nov 21, 2012 7:28 PM by The Associated Press

Report: Safety probed at Wash nuke-waste plant

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal investigation finds that a California company might have committed safety and health violations at a plant it is building to treat high-level radioactive waste in Washington state.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the Energy Department halted construction at the Hanford plant earlier this year in light of allegations involving design and construction flaws.

The plant being built by San Francisco engineering giant Bechtel National Inc. will treat an estimated 56 million gallons of radioactive waste created from about half a century of nuclear weapons production.

Agency documents say Bechtel failed to follow procedures, train workers and correct items that did not meet requirements.

The problems included corrosion in pipes.

Bechtel officials deny serious problems exist and say the investigation report is an "interim step."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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