State fines Hanford nuclear site $1M for restricting info
RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The state of Washington has issued a $1 million fine to a federal nuclear weapons production site for restricting access to critical data.
The Washington Department of Ecology issued the fine on Monday to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, and the site is now engaged in cleaning up some of the most radioactive places in the world.
Under a 1989 agreement that governs the cleanup, the federal government is required to provide the state with access to data it compiles.
But the state says it is not getting the information it needs to make good regulatory decisions, and three years of negotiations have been fruitless.
The Department of Energy is expected to appeal the fine.
The federal government spends about $2.5 billion a year to clean up the Hanford site, which is located near Richland and was created by the Manhattan Project during World War II.