Hanford Budget A 'Mixed Bag'; House Committee May Seek Vit Delays Until Design Nearly Complete - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Budget A 'Mixed Bag'; House Committee May Seek Vit Delays Until Design Nearly Complete

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Hanford budget approved by the House Energy & Water Subcommittee contains less funds for the waste treatment plant- but will the money even be needed?

The proposed budget contains $600 million for the oft-delayed and over-budget construction of the vit plant.  That's $90 million less than what the Dept. of Energy requested.  But observers say there's question to whether the full funding level is even necessary.  The committee mark-up report forces vit plant contractor Bechtel National to complete 90 percent of the plant design before moving ahead with construction.  There's also significant language seeking greater accountibility for the project.

Officials fear that delaying the project will further drive up the cost and threaten cleanup.

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