Allard seeks new review of nuclear weapons plant cleanup |

Allard seeks new review of nuclear weapons plant cleanup

DENVER ” After a new round of questions about whether the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant cleanup has been thorough, Sen. Wayne Allard asked the Government Accountability Office Monday to review the effort.

Environmental activists have been critical of the cleanup, saying this year it did not take into account some contaminants that were dumped illegally.

The Department of Energy and the cleanup contractor, Kaiser Hill Inc., have insisted the work is sound.

“We need independent assurance that the cleanup is on time, on budget, and that the site meets the stringent environmental standards outlined for the contractor when the project began,” Allard, R-Colo., said in a letter to the GAO.

Allard is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that monitors the cleanup of former nuclear sites. He asked the GAO to determine whether the site will be clean enough to be a turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wildlife refuge as planned.

The $7 billion cleanup is scheduled to end in 2006. The GAO reviewed the project in 1999 and again in 2001.

Rocky Flats, about 10 miles west of Denver, manufactured plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons until 1992, when it was shut down by a combination of safety concerns and the end of the Cold War.

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