Former Hanford Leader Speaks Out on Cleanup Future - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former Hanford Leader Speaks Out on Cleanup Future

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PASCO, Wash. - He signed the Tri-Party Agreement and watched Hanford change from a fully operational plutonium facility to a massive cleanup project. Former Department of Energy leader Mike Lawrence was the speaker at the August Columbia Basin Badger Club meeting.  

Lawrence is no stranger to taking the podium at Badger Club meetings but this was the first time his sole focus was Hanford. He commended the work being done at the Hanford site and said while the clean up is going well, much more needs to be done and done consistently. 

Lawrence believes leaking tank fears should be taken with a grain of salt.

"A long time from now there could be an impact, but that's about it. We do need to proceed and clean it up for environmental, legal and ethical reasons but we have time to do it right and we must do it right," Lawrence said.

His talk focused on putting Hanford into perspective and weighing options for the future. He said finishing the vitrification plant and getting it up and running should be the site's top priority.