A whistleblower complaint filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against URS, a Hanford vitrification plant subcontractor, has been expanded.
Walter Tamosaitis, who was released from the vit plant project by URS in July, has amended his complaint to include the Department of Energy and Bechtel National, the vit plant contractor.
"OSHA should now broaden its investigation to determine whether URS and Bechtel conspired to remove Dr. Tamosaitis from his position at Hanford after he raised safety and technical concerns regarding the (vit plant), and whether their actions were motivated by DOE," Jack Sheridan, the attorney representing Tamosaitis, said in a statement.
Tamosaitis, who was a senior executive at the vit plant, alleges in the complaint that he was subjected to a hostile working environment, had his future career threatened and was removed from the project in retaliation for raising issues.
The complaint details the performance and safety issues Tamosaitis said he raised while working as the manager of the research and technology division on the vit plant project. The complaint alleges that his concerns called into question whether Bechtel met a contract deadline that resulted in a multimillion- dollar bonus.
The DOE Office of Inspector General also was investigating allegations of retaliation against Tamosaitis, but stopped in September when it learned of the OSHA investigation.
Bechtel previously has said that many independent experts from industry, academia and the national laboratories have played a role in the engineering design of the vit plant and have helped confirm the plant will operate safely and efficiently.