Energy Sec Nominee: Hanford Cleanup Effort 'Not Acceptable' - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wash. Energy Sec Nominee: Hanford Cleanup Effort 'Not Acceptable'

Posted: Updated: - President Obama's nominee for Energy Secretary says the status quo is "not acceptable" when it comes to the clean-up efforts at Hanford.

Dr. Ernest Moniz made that statement today as he testified in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Committee is chaired by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who questioned Moniz about a recent letter from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell also pressed Dr. Moniz to visit Hanford soon, to get a firm knowledge of the issues involved.

"My plan would be to get hard briefings immediately, to go to the site because I think you need to be there to understand the issues. Come back, and work with the chairman, yourself, and Senator Murray, and make sure we get a plan together going forward.  And to do that expeditiously," Dr. Moniz said.

Moniz also told the Senate Committee he would meet with whistleblowers who have raised concerns about safety issues at the vitrification plant.