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News / Northwest

Wyden tours Hanford, promises hearings

The Columbian
Published: February 19, 2013, 4:00pm

A Northwest lawmaker whose home state neighbors the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site says the committee he chairs will hold several hearings about cleanup troubles there.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is the new chairman of the Senate -Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Wyden toured south-central Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation Tuesday, and says he plans to move nuclear waste issues up the priorities list in Washington, D.C.

News broke last week that a radioactive waste tank at Hanford is leaking, and a long-planned plant to treat that waste is behind schedule and over budget.

Wyden says there are problems that need to be resolved, but that right now, the Energy Department cannot say what changes are needed, when they will be completed or how much they will cost.