Federal prosecutors say Bechtel National Inc. and a subcontractor have agreed to pay $125 million to settle a lawsuit alleging subpar work in the construction of a nuclear waste treatment facility on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The settlement announced Wednesday resolves allegations that for 13 years, Bechtel and subcontractor URS Corp. knowingly charged the Department of Energy for materials and services that failed to meet rigorous standards for nuclear facilities.
The settlement also resolves accusations Bechtel illegally used taxpayer dollars to fund a multiyear lobbying campaign designed to get Congress to pay even more for its work on the multibillion-dollar project.
Bechtel and URS denied the accusations but said in settlement documents they wanted to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.
Hanford, located in south-central Washington state, for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons.