Energy Department official visits Hanford project - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Energy Department official visits Hanford project

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - The Energy Department says the contractor hired to build a massive waste treatment plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation should have new ideas about resolving a mixing problem in a couple of weeks.

Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman visited Hanford Monday as part of the agency's stepped-up project oversight and to check on areas where federal stimulus dollars are being spent to speed cleanup.

The federal government is building the $12 billion vitrification plant to convert highly radioactive waste into a safe, glass form for permanent disposal.

Contractor Bechtel National has struggled with a design problem involving the mixers that will mix the highly radioactive waste.