ARRA-funded Transuranic Waste Shipment Leaves Argonne for N.M. Disposal Facility

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has been removing transuranic (TRU) waste from its site for three years, but the Oct. 15 shipment of radioactive material to a disposal facility near Carlsbad, N. M., marked the first time the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) picked up the tab.

The cleanup work is paid for by DOE's Office of Environment Management. The influx of ARRA funds will allow the laboratory to ship out more than four times as much TRU waste—including both remote and contact handled—in the next 24 months as it has since the project was conceived three years ago. The ARRA funding will help Argonne reduce its nuclear footprint.

Devin Hodge, project manager at the Facilities Management and Services Division at Argonne, helped oversee Thursday's TRU waste removal. He said projects like these help clean up the legacy of nuclear research at the laboratory.

"It makes it a safer place to work and will save money in the long run," he said, adding that it's costly to house hazardous materials because they require more monitoring and maintenance.

The TRU waste removal project is scheduled for completion by Sept. 30, 2011.

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