Budgets are Tight and Some Cleanup Deadlines at Hanford are Expe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Budgets are Tight and Some Cleanup Deadlines at Hanford are Expected to Be Missed

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RICHLAND, WA - As much as we like to hear 'on time and under budget' from Hanford leaders and the contractors, money looks tight and deadlines are expected to be missed. That is according to a Department of Ecology representative at Wednesday's public meeting at the Richland Public Library.

Still, the priorities to keep the Columbia River safe remain the same. Like removing buried waste and contaminated soil away from the river. Progress has been made, though. All spent nuclear storage has been moved from along the Columbia River to storage in central Hanford. Also, nearly 10 billion gallons of groundwater has already been treated. 

Still, work on things like the Kay Basin Closure are behind but plans are in place to fix that.

"What that is, is that's schedule recovery trying to pull back that delayed treatment of sludge along the Columbia River. So, we believe that we can effectively and efficiently spend up to $184 million to pull back that schedule," said Jon Peschong with the Department of Energy.

Safety is again the top priority and that goes for workers, facilities and the environment. Budget shortfalls expected over at least the next two years means deadlines will likely be missed. Despite that, a lot of work really needs to be done. Some facilities are still operating, twice past their life-span.