Report Reveals Conflict of Interest at Nuclear Sites

The Department of Energy has discovered financial ties between a contractor and a subcontractor at a nuclear cleanup site, raising questions of partiality.

According to government investigators, conflicts of interest have surfaced among contractors working for the U.S. Department of Energy. Companies hired to perform a multi-billion dollar decommission and decontamination of two nuclear weapon sites were supervising contractors in which they had a financial stake.

In Piketon, Ohio, and Oak Ridge, Tenn., Restoration Services Inc. oversaw work completed by VETCO, a subcontractor. Restoration Services Inc. does environmental restoration and environmental services are VETCO's area of specialty. However, according to the DOE inspector general's report, Restoration Services Inc. has a financial interest in VETCO.

In the report, the IG said Restoration Services Inc. is "unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the government" due to the financial ties to VETCO. The manager at the Oak Ridge site has denied any conflict of interest at his site.

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