Hanford

Newhouse invites Trump’s energy secretary nominee to Hanford

Employees work in a process cell at the Hanford vitrification plant, which is being built to treat radioactive waste left from weapons plutonium production. Rick Perry, nominated to become energy secretary, has been invited to tour Hanford to see work being done.
Employees work in a process cell at the Hanford vitrification plant, which is being built to treat radioactive waste left from weapons plutonium production. Rick Perry, nominated to become energy secretary, has been invited to tour Hanford to see work being done. Courtesy Bechtel National

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for energy secretary already has been invited to tour the Hanford nuclear reservation.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., issued the invitation to Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, on Thursday. Perry’s nomination still must be confirmed by the Senate.

Touring Hanford would provide him with an understanding of the challenges of the site and the importance of its environmental cleanup, Newhouse said in a letter. Hanford produced plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program during World War II and the Cold War.

“While many activities of the federal government are not legally required, cleanup of our nation’s defense nuclear waste is not optional,” Newhouse said. “The federal government has a legal and moral obligation to ensure the cleanup mission at Hanford is completed.”

The work will require strong support from the Trump administration, the Department of Energy and Congress, Newhouse said.

Hanford is the largest of 17 defense sites being cleaned up by DOE.

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