Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson last week announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will continue to award retirement benefits to more than 7,000 workers at DOE closure sites.
DOE said this affirms the department''s support of those who participated in the nation''s defense, and those who are playing a role in safely cleaning up these facilities.
"This is the right thing to do for the people who served our nation in the nuclear weapons industries, and who are now helping us safely close down these sites," said Richardson. "These actions will help ensure that workers get the benefits they deserve."
Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Carolyn Hutoon, issued a memorandum clarifying existing DOE policies on retirement benefits at DOE closure sites.
The issue of post closure site benefits has been of greatest concern to workers at the department''s Rocky Flats, Fernald and Mound sites because the cleanup job will be completed by 2010 or sooner.
A more comprehensive policy on benefits for all DOE contract workers is being developed and is targeted for release before the end of this year.
by Virginia Sutcliffe