Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2013-2014
HANFORD, Washington — Dr. Walter Tamosaitis, a nuclear engineer at the beleaguered Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington, has been fired after 44 years of service — and for displaying a conscience. For 10 years, Tamosaitis has been outspoken about the potentially catastrophic conditions at what is arguably the nation’s dirtiest radioactive site. Aged, leaky underground tanks hold 56 million gallons of highly radioactive waste. In Tamosaitis’ words, “My job was to point out that there was a problem, to identify the problem, and to offer solutions to it.” For doing his job he was demoted and essentially cut out of safety meetings. In 2011, he sued for whistleblower protection and told his story to Congress. Last month, Hanford got rid of him. A severance package was offered but with a heavy string attached: Compensation was available only if all current and future lawsuits were dropped.
— CBS News, Oct. 18; King5 TV News, Nov. 1, 2013