Posted: Jun 2, 2010 7:59 PM by Chris Welty
Updated: Jun 2, 2010 7:59 PM
RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - An Energy Department review has concluded
that a program for protecting workers from a toxic metal at the
nation's most contaminated nuclear site has a number of weaknesses
and could have been implemented more quickly.
However, the review released Wednesday also found the beryllium
program is an improvement over past practices.
Beryllium was used in the production of reactor fuel at
south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation, and dust
remains in some buildings.
Worker safety groups have raised concerns that the 11,900 people
who currently work at Hanford have not been adequately protected
from the metal.
More than 150 workers have been diagnosed with sensitivity to
beryllium, or chronic beryllium disease, a lung disorder.