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Ballooning costs of nuclear waste cleanup at Savannah River Site

Also, $600 million of the $1.4 billion cost increase has little to do with the actual cleanup – it’s money the Energy Department is spending to make up for recessionary losses in SRS worker pensions, the GAO said…..

Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste at SRS to Cost More Than Expected, wltx.com | Columbia, SC News, By RAJU CHEBIUM ,Tony Santaella : 9/14/2010 WASHINGTON (Gannett News Service) – Emptying, cleaning and sealing 22 underground nuclear-waste storage tanks at Savannah River Site will cost substantially more and take longer than previously thought, a new report says.

The final cost will be about $4.6 billion, or 44 percent more than the $3.2 billion specified in the December 2008 contract between the Energy Department and Savannah River Remediation LLC, according to the report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO, an independent agency that does investigations for Congress, mostly blamed the Energy Department. It said the agency used flawed cost estimates when soliciting bids for the cleanup contract in 2007, a finding the Energy Department disputed.

Also, $600 million of the $1.4 billion cost increase has little to do with the actual cleanup – it’s money the Energy Department is spending to make up for recessionary losses in SRS worker pensions, the GAO said…..

“DOE is exploring ways to mitigate the effects of construction delays by deploying new technologies to treat radioactive waste,” the report said. “However, additional research and development on these new technologies is still required and, therefore, it will be several years before they are deployed.”
There are 37 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste at SRS, the byproducts of making materials like tritium and plutonium used in manufacturing nuclear bombs. The waste is stored in 49 underground storage tanks, including 22 that are considered especially vulnerable and are to be emptied, cleaned up and permanently sealed by 2017…….

Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste at SRS to Cost More Than Expected wltx.com | Columbia, SC News, Weather and Sports |

October 7, 2010 - Posted by | USA, wastes | , , , , , , , ,

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