A transuranic (TRU) waste shipment makes its way to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.
On February 17, 2011, DOE issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Disposal of Greater-Than-Class C (GTCC) Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) and GTCC-Like Waste (Draft EIS, DOE/EIS-0375D) for public review and comment. DOE is inviting public comments on this Draft EIS during a 120-day public comment period, from the date of publication of the EIS’s Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. During the comment period, DOE will hold public meetings throughout the U.S. DOE will consider public comments in preparing the Final GTCC EIS.
The Draft EIS provides the public and interested stakeholders with information on alternatives for the disposal of GTCC waste. DOE proposes to construct and operate a new facility or facilities, or use an existing facility or facilities, for the disposal of GTCC LLRW and GTCC-like waste. Alternative methods of disposal analyzed are: deep geologic repository; intermediate depth boreholes; enhanced near surface trenches; and above grade vaults. Alternative disposal locations analyzed are: the Hanford Site in Washington; Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho; the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and the WIPP vicinity in New Mexico; the Nevada National Security Site (formerly the Nevada Test Site) in Nevada; and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The Draft EIS also evaluates generic commercial disposal sites in four regions of the U.S., recognizing that additional review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may be required should one or more commercial facilities be proposed in the future. DOE also analyzed a No Action Alternative as required under NEPA. DOE does not have, and therefore has not identified, a preferred alternative in the Draft EIS, but will do so in the Final EIS based on further consideration and public comment. Pursuant to Section 631 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, before DOE makes a final decision on the disposal alternative, DOE will submit a report to Congress that includes a description of the disposal alternatives under consideration and all of the information required in the comprehensive report on ensuring the safe disposal of GTCC LLRW that was submitted by the Secretary to Congress in February 1987. Section 631 also requires DOE to await Congressional action on the submitted report.
The Draft EIS, the Notice of Availability, and related information are available at the GTCC EIS website at http://www.gtcceis.anl.gov.