Prominent Hanford Whistleblower Donna Busche Fired By Cleanup Contractor

By Anna King

Now to southeast Washington, and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. There, a prominent whistleblower was fired from the federal radioactive waste cleanup project today . Safety manager Donna Busche was very vocal about what she calls problems at a massive treatment plant under construction at Hanford.

Donna Busche was fired Tuesday morning from her high-level safety manager position with Hanford contractor URS. She says she finds comfort playing "tennis" with her boxer named Xena Warrior Princess. Photo by Anna King.Busche was a high-level safety manager on a huge factory that is being built to bind-up radioactive waste in glass logs. That means her check-off on safety was required before construction could move ahead on the more than 12-billion-dollar plant.

Federal watchdog officers have repeatedly asked for her testimony on the troubled project. Busche says she was escorted out of her building in the early morning. Company managers with the federal contractor told her she was being let go for “unprofessional conduct.”

Donna Busche: “I’ve had mixed emotions since I got home. Part of it’s a great relief, that I don’t have to go there, be disrespected, yelled at, interrupted every time I open my mouth, my manager signing off documents that are not ready to be released, that are not factually accurate.”

Busche’s former employer called URS, says in a written statement, quote, “Though URS supports Ms. Busche’s right to raise concerns and to express her personal views, we do not agree with her assertions that she suffered retaliation or was otherwise treated unfairly.”


Photo: Donna Busche was fired Tuesday morning from her high-level safety manager position with Hanford contractor URS. She says she finds comfort playing "tennis" with her boxer named Xena Warrior Princess. Photo by Anna King.

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