Senators urge protection of Hanford whistleblower


Protecting individuals who bring forward safety critical information will be an important policy for improving safety culture in any organization.

Originally posted on Q13 FOX News:

By Ralph Varabedian of the LA Times 


Two U.S. senators angered by the firing of whistle-blower Walter Tamosaitis from the contaminated Hanford, Wash., nuclear site sharply criticized the U.S. secretary of Energy on Wednesday.

Tamosaitis, an engineer, had raised safety concerns two years ago about the design of a plant that is intended to turn radioactive waste into glass. After that, San Francisco-based URS Corp. took away his staff and assigned him to a basement office without furniture or a telephone.

Last week, Tamosaitis was laid off in what the company called a cost-cutting move. His defenders called it retaliation.

This week, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) wrote to Energy SecretaryErnest J. Moniz to say that Tamosaitis’ dismissal would set a bad precedent and set back efforts to improve the department’s safety culture.

Tamosaitis once ran a research group of 100 scientists at the…

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