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U.S. Department of Energy

Hanford nuclear weapons site whistle-blower wins $4.1-million settlement

Hanford nuclear weapons site whistle-blower wins $4.1-million settlement

When Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 that the Energy Department’s plans for a waste treatment plant at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex were unsafe, he was demoted and put in a basement room with cardboard boxes and plywood for office furniture. Tamosaitis had been leading a team of 100 scientists and engineers in designing a way to immobilize millions of gallons of highly toxic nuclear sludge as thick as peanut butter. The sludge, which could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a nearby person within minutes, is stored in leaking underground tanks near the Columbia River in Washington state. Two years later, Tamosaitis was fired after 44 years with San Francisco-based...

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