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U.S. federal government must speed up Los Alamos nuclear waste cleanup and do it properly

State lawmakers: Tougher tactics needed to speed Los Alamos waste cleanup, Santa Fe New Mexican , By Scott Wyland swyland@sfnewmexican.com  Sep 10, 2020  The pace of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s legacy waste cleanup drew sharp criticism Wednesday from two state lawmakers who argued regulators should toughen oversight and consider suing federal agencies to spur quicker action.

The lab has made five shipments of higher-level nuclear waste this year to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad and hopes to move that number to 30 per year, with the aim of removing all of the lab’s legacy waste by 2027.federal governme

A U.S. Department of Energy official presented the figures to the state Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Committee on Wednesday.

“So we’re looking to greatly increase the rate of shipment,” said Steve Hoffman, who oversees the agency’s environmental management field office in Los Alamos.

But state Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, called that volume far too low, especially when compared to Idaho sending 100 to 150 waste shipments to WIPP each year.

“I frankly find that unacceptable,” Chandler said.

Chandler asked state Environment Department officials what their strategy was to prod the Department of Energy to accelerate cleanup.

We’re pushing for that progress, to not slow down at all, to make sure the cleanup continues,” replied Stephanie Stringer, director of the Environment Department’s Resource Protection Division. “So making sure that we’re pushing very, very hard and demanding a robust cleanup plan.”

Chandler said she wanted to know how the agency planned to enforce demands.

One avenue is legal action, she said. The Idaho National Laboratory is getting its nuclear waste removed at a faster rate after the state of Idaho sued the federal government……. https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/state-lawmakers-tougher-tactics-needed-to-speed-los-alamos-waste-cleanup/article_fc9fcdc8-f211-11ea-8e9b-77b752e1c0f9.html

September 14, 2020 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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