DOE to Decommission, Clean Up West Valley Demo Project

The Department of Energy issued a record of decision for the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center in West Valley, N.Y., that will implement a phased decision-making process to continue the decommissioning and cleanup efforts at the site, according to a recent press release.

The record of decision was published April 19 in the Federal Register.

“This record of decision is a result of incredible teamwork with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, oversight from our regulatory agencies, and substantial input from our community and stakeholders,” said Bryan Bower, DOE federal project director. “The completion of the site’s environmental impact statement will put the West Valley Demonstration Project on a path to closure.”

The record of decision for the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for decommissioning and/or long-term stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center examined three alternatives for moving forward and chose a two-phased decision-making process.

Under Phase 1, DOE will remove the Main Plant Process Building, the Vitrification Facility, the Remote Handled Waste Facility, the lagoon areas, a number of unneeded facilities, and the contaminated soils under and around these facilities, including the source of the contaminated groundwater plume.

Decisions on Phase 2 decommissioning will be made within the next 10 years. This includes decommissioning on the underground high-level waste tanks and the NRC-licensed Disposal Area. NYSERDA will manage the state-licensed Disposal Area in place. DOE will continue to safely manage the site’s few remaining facilities while conducting Phase 1 clean-up efforts and undertaking studies to evaluate the final decommissioning and long-term management plans for the underground tanks and the disposal areas.

DOE will continue to seek public input and participation as it undertakes a National Environmental Policy Act review and decision making process for Phase 2 of the cleanup.