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Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Dec 24, 2020

Under Waste Management I see the following in the EIS:

The waste management infrastructures at the INL Site, ORNL, and SRS were developed such that they would be able to accommodate the quantities of waste generated by the proposed action. Therefore, cumulative waste generation would be within site capacities. There are existing offsite DOE and commercial waste management facilities with sufficient capacities for the treatment and disposal needs associated with the relatively small volumes of LLW and MLLW wastes that would be generated by the proposed action. Therefore, substantial cumulative impacts on offsite LLW and MLLW treatment and disposal facilities would not be expected.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is currently the only disposal option for TRU waste. WIPP’s Land Withdrawal Act total TRU waste volume limit is 175,564 cubic meters. As of the reporting date for the 2019 Annual Transuranic Waste Inventory Report (ATWIR), 67,400 cubic meters of TRU waste were disposed of at the WIPP facility. The alternatives and options evaluated in this EIS would generate an estimated 24,000 cubic meters of TRU waste. TRU waste volume estimates such as those provided in NEPA documents, cannot be used to determine compliance with the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act TRU waste volume capacity limit. These wastes and waste from other actions will be incorporated, as appropriate, into future ATWIR TRU waste inventory estimates. Any GTCC-like waste (e.g., non-defense TRU waste not eligible for disposal at WIPP) generated from the proposed action would be stored at the generator site in accordance with applicable requirements until a disposal capability is available.

From all of this, the answer seems to be "business as usual" for disposal of nuclear waste, i.e. no waste management except storage on site.  

That will not do. Period.

Laura Scheele's picture
Laura Scheele on Jan 4, 2021

No, the language you quote explains that there are DOE and commercial pathways for disposing of low-level radioactive waste and mixed low-level radioactive waste. WIPP is available for disposal of transuranic wastes, but any such waste would need to be allotted capacity at WIPP if the project moves forward. The low-level radioactive waste, mixed low-level radioactive waste and TRU waste would need to be packaged in accordance with regulations and is typically stored onsite until shipping arrangements are made to the final disposal facility.

The waste that would need storage onsite until a diposal pathway is available is Greater-Than-Class-C waste (TRU waste not eligible for disposal at WIPP).

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Jan 5, 2021

Any GTCC-like waste (e.g., non-defense TRU waste not eligible for disposal at WIPP) generated from the proposed action would be stored at the generator site in accordance with applicable requirements until a disposal capability is available.

I assume this part means "We have an idea, but we really don´t know." Again, this will not do. 

However, at long last EPRI may be close to a decent solution.  Even NEI may be on board. The report is free.

"The opportunity to bundle AR operation with onsite permanent disposal provides a unique answer to the nuclear waste question and flexibility not available under the existing SNF management regime. This flexibility includes near-term integrated, retrievable, subsurface storage paired with the option for conversion to a licensed permanent disposal facility or retrieval for traditional offsite disposal."

 

Laura Scheele's picture
Laura Scheele on Jan 7, 2021

Correct. That option is basically a monitored retrievable storage option that maintains safe on-site management and storage that can be converted to permanent storage or off-site permanent disposal. National laboratories can be subject to federal-state agreements that govern when and whether on-site monitored retrievable storage constitutes permanent storage, as well as mandate types of waste that must be eventually disposed off-site in a licensed disposal facility.

The technical expertise for doing this are known. The legal and negotiated standards will differ by location.

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