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Suit alleging uranium cleanup fraud unsealed

A whistleblower suit alleging fraud by contractors hired to clean up a Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant was unsealed by a federal court in Ohio.

The suit accuses Bechtel-Jacobs Co. and Safety and Ecology Corp. of falsifying work records, taking shortcuts and failing to protect the health of workers and neighbors of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The facility, about 60 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, produced enriched uranium for 50 years and closed in 2001.

The suit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens who learn of fraud against the government to bring a suit in the government’s behalf. The Dept. of Justice declined to join this suit.

Additional information is available in the November 19, 2006 issue of the Akron Beacon-Journal.

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