Was the 60 Minutes Story on Hanford Fair? Vote on-line - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Was the 60 Minutes Story on Hanford Fair? Vote on-line

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - On "60 Minutes," Washington Governor Christine Gregoire said: "The chances of a catastrophic event over there are real. Time is not on our side. We need to get going."

The "60 Minutes" TV show Sunday focused on the Vitrification Plant being built at Hanford. It's over budget and past established deadlines. The estimated cost of the plant has nearly doubled over the past few years to 11 billion dollars.

It was scheduled to start turning hazardous waste into glass for storage in 2011. Now, the expected start date has been moved back until 2018. $11.3 Billion dollars is now the estimated price tag of the Vitrification Plant being built at Hanford. The plant is key to the disposal of hazardous waste at Hanford by turning into glass for easier and safer storage.

That estimate is more than double the $5.8 billion dollars that was estimated at the beginning of 2005 - and nearly $1 billion more than the last estimate.

A review board of leading scientists added $1 billion to the latest estimate from Bechtel Hanford. Despite a report of more than 40,000 pages, the DOE ordered report concluded that the additional money was needed for contingencies and unforeseen problems in completing the project in the future.

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