Washington state seeks to protect Hanford nuclear plant workers
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Washington state wants a federal judge to issue an injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to take steps to protect workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The Tri-City Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2dVsCtf ) that from January through July, Hanford workers reported suspicious smells or symptoms that indicate exposure to chemical vapors.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says more than 50 workers have been exposed to toxic vapors and the “culture of indifference to worker safety must end.”
The state argued that point during a federal hearing Wednesday in Spokane. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice said he would rule at a later date.
The agency has said the plaintiffs in the case have not shown harm to Hanford workers from vapors. It has argued that symptoms like headaches are common and don’t necessarily indicate exposure to vapors.
The state called that claim astounding.
Rice also will hear arguments on the Department of Energy’s motion to dismiss the state’s case.
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com
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