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Hanford whistleblower probe ordered

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has asked its Office of Inspector General to investigate the recent firing of Hanford whistleblower Donna Busche.

Energy officials told a Senate committee Tuesday that they were not asked and did not approve the firing of Busche, who had raised safety concerns on the Hanford site.

Busche has filed a federal lawsuit saying she was fired in February because she raised issues about the safe operation of the unfinished waste treatment plant.

The Tri-City Herald reports that if the Office of the Inspector General concludes that Busche was fired in retaliation for raising legal issues, an Energy Department official says the agency will take action.

Hanford contractors Bechtel and URS have denied that they retaliated against the whistleblowers.

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