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Senators, including Wyden, seek return of protections for whistleblowers

FILE - In this July 9, 2014, file photo, a sign warns of radioactivity near a wind direction flag indicator at the "C" tank farm on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. All four senators from Washington and Oregon voted against Rick Perry to become energy secretary, saying they were worried about his commitment to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry should immediately reinstate rules that would help the Department of Energy hold its contractors accountable for retaliation against whistleblowers.

That's according to three Democratic senators.

President Barack Obama's administration issued regulations last December making clear that DOE retaliation against whistleblowers for raising nuclear safety concerns was a violation of nuclear safety laws.

The Tri-City Herald says one of the first actions of President Donald Trump's administration was to halt the implementation of the regulations.

Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Claire McCaskill of Missouri sent a letter to Perry this week seeking the protections for whistleblowers at places like Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The senators asked Perry to immediately reinstate the Obama-era rules, saying whistleblowers have exposed substantial waste, fraud and abuse.

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