Cut of $119M proposed for Hanford by Trump administration

By Annette Cary/ /Tri-City Herald

May 23—The administration of President Donald Trump is proposing a cut of about $119 million from current spending for the Hanford nuclear reservation in the coming fiscal year.

Almost all of the cut is proposed for the DOE Hanford office in charge of cleanup of waste sites and facilities, including the radioactive waste tunnel that partially collapsed May 9.

The budget would total $2.2 billion plus some additional spending for security, according to information received by the staff of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Murray called the administration’s budget request to Congress “a real disappointment.”

“It puts us in a tough place to continue critical cleanup work and meet legal deadlines,” she said. “I will fight back with every tool that I have to make sure the federal government holds up its end of the bargain.”

The administration proposes a budget, but Congress makes the final spending decision.

The Office of River Protection at Hanford would see a boost of $5 million to $1.5 billion under the administration’s proposal. The office is in charge of underground tanks holding 56 million gallons of radioactive waste and the vitrification plant being built at an estimated cost of more than $17 billion to treat the waste for disposal.

The budget for the Richland Operations Office, in charge of all other environmental cleanup at Hanford and overall operations, would receive $716 million, or nearly $124 million less than current spending.

No breakdown for Richland Operations Office spending was immediately available Tuesday morning, but the Office of River Protection spending includes $713 million for tank farm work, $698 million for the vitrification plant and $93 million for a new facility planned to allow the vit plant to begin treating some waste as soon as 2022.

The overall budget request for DOE environmental cleanup of defense nuclear sites, which includes Hanford, increased to $5.5 billion, or $310 million more than current spending.

However, the administration moved some work from its National Nuclear Security Administration budget to the environmental cleanup budget, which accounts for most of the overall proposed budget increase.

Hanford, near Richland in Eastern Washington, produced plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program from World War II through the Cold War.

More in Local News

No flashing lights planned for giant Port of Everett cranes

The Port sought public input on making them blue and adding lights or keeping them as they were.

Gun-ammunition bill is suffocated by GOP amendments

It’s Day 40 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

Edmonds School District leaders plan for another school bond

It won’t be in April, but the district could float another bond proposal in August or November.

Meet the newest Daily Herald reporter, Rachel Riley

In this episode of “Herald Headlines,” Executive Editor Phil O’Connor interviews a new staffer.

Boeing asks that its big state tax break be suspended

The company hopes the move will resolve a trade dispute involving European rival Airbus.

Will Boy Scout bankruptcy sweep abuse cases under the rug?

38 scouting officials in Washington were known to be a danger to kids, including one in Everett.

South Lynnwood Park to get $2.5 million renovation

A new soccer field, covered picnic area and accessibility upgrades are among the improvements.

3 choices: How Swift, light rail should hook up in Shoreline

Do you prefer the 185th street corridor, the Aurora Transit Center or decongestion?

Nation’s first coronavirus patient said to be fully recovered

The Snohomish Health District has released the man from home isolation.

Most Read