Government and Politics
2:37 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Wyden To Question Energy Nominee Moniz On Hanford

President Obama’s pick for energy secretary can expect a lot of questions about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation at a confirmation hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden chairs the committee considering physicist Ernest Moniz to head the sprawling federal agency.

As the new energy secretary, Ernest Moniz would be saddled with a lot at Hanford, never mind the rest of the nation. There are leaking tanks of radioactive waste, groundwater contamination and the troubled waste treatment plant meant to bind up 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge in glass.

Senator Wyden says some of these Hanford problems have been the same for 20 years, and the next energy secretary must do a better job.

“It is flatly unacceptable that the Department of Energy has no viable plan for cleaning up hazardous waste on the banks of the Columbia River half a century after the contamination occurred and more than a decade since Dr. Moniz served as undersecretary of energy.”

Wyden plans to ask how the cleanup will happen, how long it will take and what it will cost.

On the Web:

Ernest Moniz profile - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio