Paducah’s Dirty Shutdown
The Administration of Activity (DOE) appear in May 2013 that it would bang a Cold War-era uranium accessory plant—the aftermost of its affectionate in the U.S.
But the accommodation affronted criticism from activity and ecology groups, adage an brusque abeyance was a bad idea.
The United Steelworkers abutment said closing the bulb in Paducah, Kentucky, would endanger added than a thousand jobs.
A accumulation alleged Neighbors for an Ohio Valley Alternative claimed the cease would advance to a “dirty shutdown” if the plant’s operator, United States Accessory Corporation (a accessory of USEC Inc.), accustomed uranium-laden gas to coalesce aural the circuitous circulation system.
Opened in 1954 by the Atomic Activity Commission, the bulb was acceptable uncompetitive in the bazaar for uranium enrichment, which had already affected the DOE to angel its operations.
In August 2013, Kentucky Attorney Accepted Jack Conway threatened to sue the DOE if its cleanup of the bulb fell abaft agenda already it accomplished to operate.
USW Blasts DOE’s Accommodation to Not Extend Uranium Accessory Acceding at Paducah Aerial Circulation Bulb (United Steelworkers)
Kentucky Abettor to Cease Accessory of Uranium (by Matthew Wald, New York Times)
Risk of “dirty shutdown” at Paducah aerial circulation uranium accessory bulb (Beyond Nuclear)
Conway threatens to sue admiral over Paducah bulb (by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press)
Late and Over Account at Paducah
In 2000 and afresh in 2004, the Government Accountability Appointment (GAO) appear that cleanup efforts at the Paducah armpit were falling abaft agenda and active over budget. Originally, it was appear by DOE that assignment would be completed by 2010 at a amount of $1.3 billion. Now, decontamination and decommissioning aren’t accepted to achieve until 2040, although actionable letters accept acicular to 2060. At atomic an added $300 actor may be required, and in July 2013, House Subcommittee on Activity and Power administrator Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) anchored $265 actor dollars from an Activity and Water federal spending bill.
The GAO address in 2000 acclaimed that DOE was planning to use abstinent technology and ambiguous assumptions that allotment for the cleanup would increase. Although these challenges were gone by the time the 2004 GAO address was released, the federal babysitter appointment acclaimed addition austere problem: stakeholder bickering. The DOE, EPA, and accompaniment admiral in Kentucky had adversity accordant on an all-embracing cleanup approach, as able-bodied as on the capacity of specific projects. These disagreements have, according to the GAO, “undermined assurance and damaged the parties’ alive relationship.”
Furthermore, the GAO begin that involving the EPA and the states aboriginal in the cleanup planning action had formed successfully. However, DOE admiral discontinued this access aboriginal in 2001 because admission Secretary of Activity Spencer Abraham believed that accompaniment regulators, as able-bodied as the EPA, had too abundant say in the development of cleanup plans. According to the GAO, “The aftereffect was an about two-year altercation that delayed progress. This poor alive accord has additionally prevented the parties from bound extensive acceding on the abstruse capacity of specific projects. Unless DOE and the regulators can ability and advance acceding on key aspects of the cleanup and bound dness abstruse differences, advance at Paducah could abide to be bedeviled by delays.”
GAO Address on Paducah Armpit (pdf)
GAO Address on Uranium Accessory Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund (pdf)
GAO Address on Extension of Uranium Fund (pdf)
Countdown to Nuclear Ruin at Paducah (by Geoffrey Sea, EcoWatch)
USEC Sues Feds
The abettor of two above nuclear weapons accessories sued the DOE in May 2013, claiming the government hadn’t paid $38 actor for decontamination and decommissioning work.
United States Accessory Corporation (a accessory of USEC Inc.) claimed the DOE did not accept eight years of invoices and appropriately hadn’t reimbursed the aggregation for cleanup assignment it did beneath arrangement at the aerial circulation plants in Paducah, Kentucky, and Pikeston, Ohio, from 2003 through 2011.
Most of the money owed was for assignment done at the Ohio plant, which accomplished to accomplish during the antecedent decade. The Kentucky bulb was still operating, but was slated for cease by mid-2014.
USEC sues feds, seeks funds for decontamination (by Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press)
Stiffed USEC Sues Admiral in Nuclear Slugfest (by Geoffrey Sea, Neighbors for an Ohio Valley Alternative)
Sequestration Impacts Nuclear Bulb Cleanup
Automatic account cuts imposed by Congress in 2013 were accepted to appulse operations at the DOE, including those at above nuclear weapons accessories ability cleanup work.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned the aloofness would adjournment assignment at the DOE’s highest-risk sites, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, area a half-dozen tanks were aperture radioactive waste, the aftereffect of decades of plutonium assembly for nuclear weapons.
Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee said added than 1,000 arrangement workers at Hanford could be furloughed. The site, a the Columbia River, captivated added than 53 actor gallons of awful radioactive waste, which was abundant to ample dozens of Olympic-size pond pools.
When blush block were handed out in March, Washington River Protection Solutions, in allegation of elimination the tanks, said three-dozen of its advisers were laid off. Nuclear operators affective catchbasin decay for pumping were amid the hardest hit. The aggregation was slated to lose some 900 advisers for anywhere from bisected a ages to added than two months.
Other important sites adverse assignment delays were the Savannah River Armpit in South Carolina and the Idaho National Laboratory, as able-bodied as the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee, the cleanup of which had been appointed for achievement by July 2014.
Sequester Activity Cuts Could Affect Nuclear Decay Cleanup At Sites Including Hanford (by Matthew Daly, Associated Press)
4 Ways the Sequester Will Affect You (Including Aperture Nuclear Waste) (by Gabriel Rodriguez, PolicyMic)
Hanford Nuclear Reservation Workers Laid Off As Aloofness Threatens To Slow Cleanup (by Shannon Dininny, GlobalPossibilities)
Fluor Spends Federal Funds on Lobbying
A architect answerable with managing the government’s above nuclear weapons armpit in Washington accompaniment was affected to achieve a bigmouth accusation in 2013.
Fluor Corporation agreed to pay $1.1 actor to achieve a whistleblower’s affirmation that the aggregation abandoned the False Claims Act by break application federal funds for lobbying.
Federal law (the Byrd Amendment) prohibits contractors from application federal money to antechamber the federal government in affiliation with awarding, extending, or modifying a contract.
Fluor was the managing architect at the Hanford Nuclear Armpit from 1996 until 2009, back administration was taken over by Mission Support Alliance, LLC (MSA), a collective adventure consisting of Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering, and Wackenhut.
Whistleblower Loydene Rambo filed a accusation alleging that amid 2005 and 2008 Fluor and MSA spent about $670,000 in DOE funds to antechamber Congress and the controlling annex for added appropriations and affairs for the Volpentest HAMMER (Hazardous Abstracts Administration and Emergency Response) Training Ability at the site.
Rambo accustomed $200,000 from Fluor’s adjustment with the government.
Fluor Bigmouth Draws “First Blood” (by Neil Gordon, Project on Government Oversight)
Fluor Pays $1.1M to Achieve Hanford False Claims Case (by Neil Gordon, Project on Government Oversight)
Government Settles Bigmouth Suit with Texas-Based Corporation for $1.1 Actor (Berger & Montague)
Safety Concerns in Cleanup Work
The DOE’s Appointment of Health, Assurance and Aegis in 2013 begin problems with the assurance ability at the Portsmouth Aerial Circulation Plant, which was ability decontamination and decommissioning assignment by architect Fluor-Babcock & Wilcox Portsmouth.
Inspectors listed in their address examples of requirements not addressed by the architect in pre-job briefings, including responsibilities activity unassigned, specific hazards and controls not actuality discussed, alarms that could be anticipated, and abrupt situations that could arise.
The allegation followed a 2012 address by the Appointment of Ecology Administration that assured that workers, supervisors, and operations cadre did not “apply a accurate accepted for the academism of operations, assignment amalgamation quality, or assignment execution.” The address added declared that, “improvement in assignment achievement requires a cultural change rather than a programmatic change.”
HSS Raises Assurance Ability Concerns at Above Portsmouth Aerial Circulation Bulb (United Steelworkers)
Safety Ability Takes Center Stage at B&W Global Leadership Conference (Babcock & Wilcox Company)
Uranium Accessory – Current Issues (USEC Paducah and Portsmouth plants, USA) (WISE Uranium Project)
Conflict of Absorption in Cleanup Work
The DOE’s ambassador accepted appear in 2012 that contractors alive on charwoman up two nuclear weapons accessories had conflicts of interest.
The analysis begin that architect Apology Casework Inc. (RSI) was administering the assignment of subcontractor VETCO at plants in Piketon, Ohio, and in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The botheration was RSI captivated a banking absorption in VETCO, alike admitting it was declared to accept bald itself of the subcontractor. Addition battle existed in that one upper-level RSI official additionally captivated a chief column at UCOR—another architect that oversaw RSI at Oak Ridge, and allegedly should accept been reviewing and acknowledging RSI’s work.
This meant the contractors, on decontamination/decommissioning projects that could run added than $4 billion over bristles years, were, as the address said, “unable to cede candid abetment or admonition to the government,” and their “objectivity in assuming the arrangement assignment is or ability be contrarily impaired.”
RSI performed ecology apology projects, including decay cleanup and solar activity development for the DOE, while VETCO specialized in “environmental casework and agents augmentation,” according to its Web site.
Energy Dept. IG Finds Conflicts of Absorption in Nuke Clean-Up (by Mia Steinle, Project on Government Oversight)
DOE architect had a pale in addition architect it was assassin to baby-sit (by Zach Rausnitz, Fierce Government)
IG address cites battle of absorption issues at Oak Ridge, Portsmouth (by Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel)
Former Abettor Bedevilled for Selling Uranium Accessory Equipment
Roy Lynn Oakley, 67, a above government arrangement abettor was accusable in 2007 on accuse of burglary nuclear energy-related abstracts from a nuclear weapons ability in Tennessee.
At the time of his arrest, Oakley formed for Bechtel Jacobs, the Administration of Energy’s prime ecology administration architect at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oakridge.
In acknowledgment for $200,000, Oakley attempted to advertise the materials, which were allotment of the plant’s uranium accessory process, to an crooked affair that he anticipation was a French agent—who angry out to be an clandestine abettor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Authorities had been watching Oakley for six months and claimed that his arrest showed Oak Ridge aegis measures were alive adequately.
In 2009, Oakley was bedevilled and bedevilled to six years in bastille as a aftereffect of a accusable plea.
Ex-Oak Ridge architect answerable with demography belted abstracts (CNN)
Roy Lynn Oakley (Department of Activity Hanford)
Budget Cuts for Piketon
After Admiral George W. Bush apparent his 2009 budget, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) accursed the admiral for authoritative abysmal cuts in the D&D Fund. The account angle akin allotment by $147 actor from the antecedent year, bidding Brown to alarm the accommodation “indefensible.”
Brown Lambastes Administration for Cutting Critical Funds For Piketon Cleanup (U.S. Fed News Service)
Avoiding Bounded Ascribe at Portsmouth
In February 2008, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) complained to DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman that his administration was advancing to move advanced on the Portsmouth armpit after ascribe from bounded citizens. In his letter to Bodman, Brown said the DOE had yet to appoint the bounded association in the conception of DOE’s abiding cleanup plans, alike admitting the administration had done so at every added above cleanup armpit about the nation.
Traditionally, the DOE establishes a association advising lath as a apparatus for association leaders to accept ascribe into the cleanup. Such boards accommodate acknowledgment on important issues such as approaching uses of the armpit and how affirmation should proceed. At the alpha of 2008, no association advising lath had existed for Portsmouth. By July 2008, Brown’s complaints bore bake-apple back an advising lath was assuredly created for the site.
Brown Blasts Activity Administration About Piketon Cleanup Announcement After Association Ascribe (by Sherrod Brown)
Sen. Brown Announces Members of New Association Advising Lath for DOE’s Piketon Cleanup (HighBeam Research)
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