Washington Congressman Dan Newhouse said, “Now is not the time to jeopardize worker safety or impede this vital cleanup.” Hanford was the site of a once-secret effort to produce plutonium that went into the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
President Donald Trump’s proposed $230 million cut to the budget for the federal Hanford Site nuclear cleanup will face bipartisan opposition in Congress.
The proposal for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 trims a Hanford Site budget that during the current fiscal year totals more than $2.37 billion. It comes after a difficult year for the decades-long cleanup as radioactive contamination has spread from a demolition site and a tunnel collapse risked the exposure of radioactive waste.
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, said, “Now is not the time to jeopardize worker safety or impede this vital cleanup,” and that he will work with “colleagues on both sides of the aisle” to restore funding. He noted that previous administrations also had proposed cuts, and that they did not happen.
In the Senate, Sen. Maria Cantwell, the Washington Democrat who is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the budget cuts shortchange safety and delay reaching some of the milestones in the cleanup.
Hanford was the site of a once-secret effort to produce plutonium that went into the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of Word War II and into the nation’s Cold War nuclear-weapons stockpile.
The budget proposal calls for $61 million in cuts to Hanford’s Office of River Protection and a $169 million cut to the Richland operations office at Hanford.