YAKIMA, Wash. — A U.S. Department of Energy engineer says the company hired to build a massive plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation should no longer have authority over its design.
Gary Brunson oversees engineering for the $12.3 billion waste treatment plant, which is being built to convert highly radioactive waste into glasslike logs for safe disposal. The plant is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.
Brunson noted 34 instances where contractor Bechtel National provided information that was incorrect, technically unfeasible or failed to provide the best value to the government, among other things. Brunson detailed the findings in a memo Thursday to Energy Department managers.
Bechtel project director Frank Russo says the findings highlight how the project has changed in the past decade, rather than failures by the company.