Hanford vit workers to be spared furloughs

By The Tri-City HeraldJune 1, 2013 

Hanford vitrification plant workers will be spared furloughs this summer.

Bechtel National warned in April that the plant might have to be shut down for two weeks this summer because of a lack of money for work that is ready to be done.

In May it told workers that the first week of mandatory time off, being considered for July, would not happen. On Friday, workers learned that the week of furlough being considered for August, also would not be required.

The Department of Energy received expected reprogramming money, said Frank Russo, Bechtel National project director, in a memo to employees. Congressional committees approved a request in May for reprogramming, or moving money already budgeted for this year among DOE sites and projects, but the change had to move through the administrative process.

The reprogramming changes include moving $115 million budgeted for the Pretreatment Facility at the plant to work at the plant's other buildings. Construction is on hold at the Pretreatment Facility until technical issues are resolved.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., worked to make sure that reprogramming put money where it was needed most at Hanford.

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