Board hears comments on ill Hanford workers

Hanford News

Hanford news briefs

This story was published Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

the Herald staff

Board hears comments on ill Hanford workers

About 50 people showed up at the public comment session of a Richland meeting of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health on Tuesday evening.

Among the few who spoke was Barb Lisk, district director to Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who read his comments into the record.

Hastings is aware of concerns about monitoring for radiation at Hanford, including a lack of information on photon exposure caused by a phenomenon known as “directional shine,” she said.

He also urges the board to consider whether carcinogenic chemicals used at Hanford should be considered along with radiation exposure as eligibility is determined for compensation for ill Hanford workers, she said.

Among the issues the national board is considering is whether requirements should be eased for ill Hanford workers, making more of those with cancer eligible to receive $150,000 compensation.

Another public hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at the Red Lion in Richland. On Thursday about 9:15 a.m. the board is expected to begin discussing easing requirements for Hanford workers who were exposed to radiation from 1943-46.

House cuts Handford budget

The U.S. House approved Tuesday the Hanford budget for 2008 as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

The bill includes $1.8 billion for Hanford but a cut of $100 million from the $690 million the Department of Energy requested for building the vitrification plant. The cut was opposed by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who said a reduction now would require a substantial increase in the future.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a Hanford budget with full funding for the vitrification plant. It still must be approved by the full Senate.

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