A new federal audit says a project planned to treat the Hanford nuclear reservation's K Basin radioactive sludge cost $43 million without producing any results. The audit by the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General says the money was spent on engineering and purchasing of equipment from 2004 to 2007. The Tri-City Herald says the audit released Tuesday found that an initial feasibility study was not done, and laboratory and demonstration scale testing were not done in a timely fashion.
The audit says the project was dropped after safety concerns were raised and the cost of improving the design proved prohibitive.
DOE has told the Office of Inspector General it is working on a new approach to treat the sludge.