Here is a look back at the top stories of 2020 from our Waste Management section in Newswire and Nuclear News magazine. Remember to check back to Newswire soon for more top stories from 2020.
Waste Management section
- First-ever cleanup of uranium enrichment plant celebrated at Oak Ridge: The completion of the decades-long effort to clean up the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant was celebrated on October 13, with Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette joining U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, and other state and community leaders at the East Tennessee Technology Park, where the uranium enrichment complex once stood. Read more.
- Salt Waste Processing Facility at SRS approved for start: The Department of Energy approved the start of operations at the Salt Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site, authorizing hot (radioactive) operations to begin at the facility, the agency announced on August 17. Read more.
- NNSA to review its “dilute and dispose” option for surplus Pu: The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration intends to prepare an environmental impact statement evaluating alternatives for the safe disposal of 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium through its Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. Read more.
- NRC withdraws LLW rule interpretation: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has withdrawn a proposed interpretation of its low-level radioactive waste regulations that would have permitted licensees to dispose of waste by transferring it to persons who hold specific NRC exemptions. “The proposal is being withdrawn based on the NRC staff’s assessment that the proposed changes may not benefit the regulatory framework for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste,” the NRC said in a December 17 Federal Register notice. Read more.
- DOE awards $13-billion tank closure contract: The Department of Energy has awarded a $13-billion tank closure contract for services at its Hanford Site, near Richland, Wash. The 10-year contract was awarded on May 14 to Hanford Works Restoration, a joint venture of BWXT Technologies and Fluor Corporation that also includes DBD and INTERA, two preselected small businesses that provide specialized modeling and regulatory expertise, respectively. Read more.
- What does the Supreme Court have to do with nuclear waste? (Opinion piece): As if COVID-19 and a rancorous presidential election were not enough, over the next few weeks [in October] we will also be dealing with the confirmation of a justice to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court. What does that have to do with the American Nuclear Society and nuclear technology? Well, nothing directly, but there is an interesting connection between the Supreme Court and a notable case on nuclear waste decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in August 2013. Read more.
Here is more from the 2020 Top Stories menu: