Some Senate appropriators are asking whether the Dept. of Energy has placed enough emphasis on nuclear-waste cleanup in its fiscal 2012 budget proposal, particularly the work at the Hanford site in Washington state. DOE has requested $5.4 billion in 2012 for overall defense-related environmental cleanup. That amount is an increase from the 2011 enacted level of $5 billion but a cut from 2010's $5.6 billion.
At a May 19 appropriations subcommittee hearing on DOE's budget, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said she is concerned that Hanford's share of that $5.4- billion request is inadequate. She says, “It's disappointing that we have to fight the administration year after year.”