Supervisors at a Hanford nuclear fuel factory near Richland, Wash., sometimes told workers in the past to ignore safety rules intended to prevent accidental nuclear reactions, according to a Department of Energy investigation. The factory stopped production 10 years ago, but the DOE is considering reopening a nearby test reactor, the Fast Flux Test Facility, which could mean that the fuel factory would once again be called upon to process plutonium. Documents about the DOE investigation were obtained and released by two groups that are working to stop the agency from reopening the Fast Flux reactor, the Government Accountability Project and Heart of America Northwest. Hearings on reopening the reactor begin today in Seattle.

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