Department of Energy Sends Letter to Inslee

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The federal budget cuts known as sequestration may slow the progress of dealing with tanks leaking radioactive waste at the Hanford site.

Today the Deputy Secretary of Energy sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee stating that 171-million dollars will be slashed from the Hanford budget this year.

That's 79-million dollars from the Department of Energy's Richland office, which could result in layoffs or furloughs for 19-hundred contractors.  An additional 92-million is being cut from the Office of River Protection-- which could mean furloughs or layoffs for another 28-hundred workers.

Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Ponemon says, "While the Department remains committed to its clean-up effort at Hanford, this decreased funding and the resultiing contractor employment actions may curtail our progress related to closing the aging- and in some cases leaking- single shell tanks storing over 25 million gallons of liquid radioactive waste at the Hanford site."

The letter in its entirety is below.