1,200 DOE employees gather in Tri-Cities for a workshop - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

1,200 DOE employees gather in Tri-Cities for a workshop

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- More than 1,200 Department of Energy employees from all over the country are in the Tri-Cities this week for a conference. This is the first year Hanford has hosted the "Integrated Safety Management Champions Workshop." The four-day event features tours, speakers, presentations, and exhibits. On Wednesday, workers gathered at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.  Earlier in the week, they toured the site. 

The Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, Thomas D'Agostino, who earlier this summer added Environmental Management onto his duties, says it was great to see Hanford in person. He explains, "You can't get it by looking at Power Point back in Washington {DC}. It's just not the same thing as talking to the workforce, seeing the buildings, driving the huge distances between the facilities- you have to be here." D'Agostino says his goal is to help DOE complete cleanup along the Columbia River by 2015.

The theme of this year's workshop was "Safety 360," focusing on strategies and systems to keep workers, the public, and the environment safe.