Han­ford con­trac­tors agree to pay $58 mil­lion fine for fraud

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION & WORLD -

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two com­pa­nies that do work at a for­mer nu­clear weapons pro­duc­tion plant will pay fines of nearly $58 mil­lion for im­prop­erly billing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment for thou­sands of hours of work that were not per­formed.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors on Tues­day af­ter­noon an­nounced the set­tle­ment in­volv­ing the Han­ford Nu­clear Reser­va­tion, a Man­hat­tan Project-era fa­cil­ity near Rich­land, Wash., that is the na­tion’s most con­tam­i­nated nu­clear site.

The set­tle­ment was reached be­tween Bech­tel Corp. and AE­COM En­ergy & Con­struc­tion Inc., which for years have been con­struct­ing a gi­ant nu­clear waste treat­ment plant to clean up the Han­ford site, which pro­duced most of the plu­to­nium for the na­tion’s nu­clear ar­se­nal.

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