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Washington state settles with U.S. over nuclear site vapors

Sep 20, 2018, by Dena Aubin


The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to improve worker safety measures at a Washington state nuclear weapons site to resolve two 2015 lawsuits by the state and a workers’ union accusing it of failing to adequately protect individuals doing cleanup work at the site.

The agreement, announced on Wednesday by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, calls for the Department of Energy to install a new system to capture or treat hazardous vapors from storage tanks at the decommissioned Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a World War II era complex on the Columbia River in southeastern Washington, which it owns. The deal conditionally settles lawsuits filed by Ferguson, the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local Union 598, and advocacy group Hanford Challenge.

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