Environmental Protection

DOE Releases Melter Draft Waste Evaluation for Comment

Comments will be accepted until April 27.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a Draft Waste Incidental to Reprocessing (WIR) Evaluation of a vitrification melter at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) for review and comment by the public, states, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

This draft evaluation shows that the melter meets the criteria for “waste incidental to reprocessing” and may be managed and disposed of as low-level radioactive waste (LLW). It is an important step in DOE’s efforts to clean up the WVDP and meet its obligations under the WVDP Act of 1980.

DOE will consider comments before making a final evaluation and determination and before selecting the disposal location at either the Nevada National Security Site Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site in Nevada or the Waste Control Specialists Federal Facility Waste Disposal Facility in Texas, which are the only facilities that can accept such federal LLW.

The vitrification melter was used from 1996 through 2002 to solidify high-level waste that had been generated by commercial reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at the Western New York Nuclear Service Center in West Valley, by Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. DOE undertook the solidification activities pursuant to DOE’s responsibilities under the WVDP Act.

A Federal Register notice was published March 14. A 45-day public comment period runs until April 27. The document is available on the Web at www.em.doe.gov/pdfs/WVDP_Melter_Draft_WIR_Eval.pdf.

Comments can be sent via e-mail to melter@wv.doe.gov.

Source: Department of Energy

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