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Exhuming nuclear trash in Idaho

Fluor Idaho resumes waste retrieval, IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) 13 Sept 18,  – After revising its safety procedures, Fluor Idaho has resumed the removal of buried Cold War weapons waste at its Idaho facility.

The Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory cleanup contractor suspended buried waste exhumation at the Accelerated Retrieval Project VIII facility after an April 11 breach of storage drums. The contractor revised its exhumation and repackaging process with additional controls to avoid the risk of a similar event.

Those controls include raking and thermal monitoring of exhumed sludge waste prior to repackaging. Meanwhile, cleanup of the facility continues.

To date, crews have removed buried waste containing plutonium, solidified solvents, and uranium from a combined area of 1.54 acres of ARP VII.  The facility is 89.5 percent complete.

Waste generated during the development of atomic weapons was sent from the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, to Idaho for buried disposal from 1954 until 1970. In 2008, the DOE, Environmental Protection Agency and state of Idaho agreed to remediate a total of 5.69 acres of buried waste and ship the material out of Idaho for permanent disposal. The overall buried waste exhumation effort remains ahead of schedule.

Once exhumation is complete in ARP VIII, work will begin in the nearby ARP IX facility to remove the last of the waste required by the 2008 agreement.

The Idaho Cleanup Project is a 5-year, $1.4 billion project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management.

September 14, 2018 - Posted by | wastes

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