$12B may not be enough to finish Hanford vit plant

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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) -- The Energy Department may not be able to complete a Hanford waste treatment plant for the projected cost of $12.2 billion. The vitrification plant is being built convert waste on the nuclear reservation into glass logs for permanent storage.

The Tri-City Herald quotes (http://bit.ly/nYkjnK ) an internal DOE document by the Construction Project Review team that says the $12.2 billion figure is at risk due to uncertainties in congressional funding, increased costs and delays in resolving technical issues.

The document indicates the plant could be designed to treat the majority of the waste while studies continue on treating the most difficult waste, which includes plutonium.

The Energy Department has not released the briefing document and says a formal report on the team's most recent review could differ.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com