[ RadSafe ] Scientist fired after criticizing Hanford, Wash., nuclear project

Clayton J Bradt CJB01 at health.state.ny.us
Fri Oct 4 10:18:34 CDT 2013

U.S. News
Scientist fired after criticizing Hanford, Wash., nuclear project
Published: Oct. 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM
HANFORD, Wash., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A senior scientist, who criticized a
project to build a facility to treat nuclear waste at the Hanford nuclear
complex in Washington, said he's been fired.

Walter Tamosaitis, 66, warned against the nuclear reservation's plan to
clean up 53 million gallons of radioactive waste left over from 40 years of
nuclear weapons production currently stored in aging, leaking tanks

He said the plant might be dangerous, may not be able to treat as much
waste as expected and could pose environmental dangers.

Shortly after he expressed his concerns, Tamosaitis said he was removed
from the project and sent to work in a basement room without office
furniture or a telephone.

On Wednesday, he was laid of from his job at the URS Corp. in San Francisco
after 44 years with the company, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

URS refused to discuss the reason for Tamosaitis' removal, saying only that
it pursues "a safety culture built on an environment of trust and mutual
respect, worker engagement and open communication, an atmosphere that
promotes questioning attitude with effective resolution of reported
problems, and continuous learning."

Tamosaitis, who has a doctoral degree and once directed a staff of 100
scientists, believes he was laid off for criticizing the project.

"I enjoyed working and trying to do something for the country," he said.
"They killed my career. It sends a message to everybody else that they
shouldn't raise issues. Forty-four years of service, a PhD, a recognized
expert in nuclear engineering -- none of that mattered."

<Read more:
It is amusing to hear the company,  apparently in the act of retaliating
against an employee who raised safety issues, quote the NRC's prescribed
elements of an adequate "Safety Culture."  I guess that's just the
difference between 'talking the talk' and 'walking the walk'.

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