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Public Invited to Comment on Draft Environmental Assessment for Replacement Capability for Disposal of Remote-Handled Low Level Radioactive Waste Generated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho Site

September 1, 2011 - 12:00pm


The U.S. Department of Energy invites the public to read and comment on a draft environmental assessment it has prepared, for a proposal to provide a replacement capability for continued disposal of remote-handled low-level radioactive waste that is generated at the Idaho National Laboratory site.

“We need to replace the remote-handled low level waste disposal facility that we have safely operated here for nearly 20 years,” said DOE Idaho Operations Office Manager Richard Provencher. “A new disposal facility at INL for this type of waste would be built in a manner that protects the aquifer, while avoiding the extra costs we would incur if we disposed of this waste in another state. Continued disposal capability at INL is important to our national nuclear energy research and development missions.”

The draft environmental assessment prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act is posted for public review at the following link: Draft EA DOE_EA-1793 2011-09-01.pdf

The federal action proposed in this document is to site, construct and operate a new disposal facility at the department’s Idaho site for remote-handled low-level waste generated by site operations. The facility would be sized for a 20-50 year operational period.

The current disposal location at the site is protective of the aquifer. This location is scheduled for closure in 2017, as part of overall cleanup activities underway at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex under a 2008 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act Record of Decision.

The 45-day public comment period on the draft environmental assessment will conclude on October 18, 2011. Comments can be submitted by mail to Chuck Ljungberg, 1955 Fremont Ave., mailstop 1216, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83415 or by e-mail to Paper copies of the document are available on request.