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USA reclassifies nuclear waste, with new interpretation, making it easier to move to storage.

The Biden administration has affirmed a Trump administration
interpretation of high-level radioactive waste that is based on the
waste’s radioactivity rather than how it was produced.

The U.S. Department of Energy announcement last week means some radioactive waste
from nuclear weapons production stored in Idaho, Washington and South
Carolina could be reclassified and moved for permanent storage elsewhere.

“After extensive policy and legal assessment, DOE affirmed that the
interpretation is consistent with the law, guided by the best available
science and data, and that the views of members of the public and the
scientific community were considered in its adoption,” the agency said in
a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The policy has to do with nuclear waste generated from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to
build nuclear bombs. Such waste previously has been characterized as high
level. The new interpretation applies to waste that includes such things as
sludge, slurry, liquid, debris and contaminated equipment. The agency said
making disposal decisions based on radioactivity characteristics rather
than how it became radioactive could allow the Energy Department to focus
on other high-priority cleanup projects, reduce how long radioactive waste
is stored at Energy Department facilities, and increase safety for workers,
communities and the environment. The department noted that the approach is
supported by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future,
formed during the Obama administration.

The department identified three
sites where waste is being stored that will be affected by the new
interpretation.

 ABC News 29th Dec 2021

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-affirms-interpretation-high-level-nuclear-waste-81991323

January 1, 2022 - Posted by | radiation, USA, wastes

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