Letter: Stop vitrification plant construction and evaluate strategy for high-level waste disposal

February 16, 2013 

It's time to revisit the sanity and logic of a project that is billions of dollars over budget, decades behind schedule, of insufficient capacity and uncertain as to whether it will even work.

I'm talking about the Hanford vitrification plant, a plant that is being designed as it is being built. What a creative concept, perhaps discovered deep within the Department of Energy R&D complex back when the Earth was new.

This project has no contingency in the event the plant does not work. Sounds more like the Dr. Strangelove movie than a national priority project. It's appalling and at the taxpayers' expense. Could it be this community has become intoxicated with the fat from this pork barrel project to the extent we can't think straight?

Does giving prestigious recognition awards for this bloated, uncertain and possibly doubtful project make sense? Where are the voices of the advisory bodies and expertise overseeing the project? Stopping the project dead in its tracks until a workable strategy is a plausible next step. It is way past time to critically examine and evaluate the strategy of using vitrification by employing the "kisa" principle -- keep it simple and affordable.

JOHN COX, Richland

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