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Wyden demands answers on whistleblower’s job loss

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is demanding to know why a Hanford Nuclear Reservation whistleblower has lost his job.

Walter Tamosaitis was recently terminated by URS Corp.

Wyden, a Democrat, sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Wednesday saying that little appears to have changed in the protection of whistleblowers at Hanford. He says this incident shows that people who raise safety concerns at Hanford continue to face retaliation.

Tamosaitis in 2010 was removed from his job as a manager at the Waste Treatment Plant after raising safety concerns, and later sued over the demotion.

In other Hanford news, Washington state’s attorney general says the U.S. Department of Energy is proposing more delays in the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Bob Ferguson says his office was informed by the Energy Department on Tuesday that they are at substantial risk of failing to meet three deadlines in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree.

Ferguson says that means all deadlines established for the construction of Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant between now and 2022 appear to be at risk.

Ferguson says he is disappointed by the news.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons and now is the nation’s most polluted nuclear site.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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