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Strong ctiticism of plan to close initial group of Hanford nuclear wastetanks.

2,000 people agree: DOE plan for Hanford tank waste is not good, Tri City Herald, BY ANNETTE CARY, acary@tricityherald.com – 14 Nov 18, RICHLAND, WA 

More than 2,000 people submitted comments or signed petitions critical of a proposal for closing Hanford’s underground radioactive waste storage tanks, according to a coalition of environmental and Hanford watchdog groups.

The Department of Energy sought comments on a draft evaluation that concluded no significant threat to the environment would be posed by its plan to close an initial group of Hanford tanks.

The 16 single-shell tanks that make up the group called the C Tank Farm have been emptiedof about 96 percent of the radioactive and hazardous chemical waste they once held. The waste was left from the past processing of irradiated uranium fuel to remove plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

DOE has proposed stabilizing the tanks, which still hold about 64,000 gallons of nuclear waste, by filling them with concrete-like grout and leaving them in the ground in central Hanford…….

Hanford Challenge, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Nuclear Resources Defense Council submitted comments jointly, challenging the legality of reclassifying the waste as low level waste and calling the proposal not protective of human health and the environment.

The proposal must be withdrawn, they said.

DOE has said it is committed to an open, transparent process and will consider comments from states, tribal nations and the public before making a final determination.
The public comment period on the draft evaluation closed last week, but there will be other chances for public comment before a final decision is made.

DOE has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a technical review and a public meeting will be held with DOE and NRC, likely in early 2019.

DOE could issue a final evaluation and determination, including a response to the NRC

review and public comments, in the spring.

Additional regulatory steps would be needed before grouting the C Farm Tanks would be allowed to proceed. A separate public comment period would be required to modify DOE’s dangerous waste permit issued by the Department of Ecology.

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November 15, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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