Nuclear facilities public hearing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Nuclear facilities public hearing

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KENNEWICK, Wash.—The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board held a public meeting Thursday at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick after some people raised concerns about Hanford's vit plant.  The purpose was to allow people to express their safety concerns about the $12.3-billion project. 

You may remember the Hanford whistleblower Walter Tamosaitis who claimed Bechtel and URS wanted him off the job after he raised safety concerns.  Now Board Chairman Peter Winokur says there are unresolved technical problems. 

The Department of Energy says they believe Thursday's hearing was positive.  It opened channels of communication and gave them areas to look into.

"The only way to bring this project home safely and efficiently and effectively is to be transparent and to take input from the people on the ground at the facilities," says David Huizenga, DOE Environmental Management.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board will now take what they heard back to Washington, D.C.