NNSA to hold virtual public meetings regarding Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program

January 19, 2021, 3:01PMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration will hold two virtual public meetings on a new environmental impact statement for its Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program (SPDP). The meetings will be held on Monday, January 25, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET) and Tuesday, January 26, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET). Participants can join by computer, telephone, or other device. A Notice of Intent contains a full description of the proposal and other options for providing public comment until February 1.

The program: The SPDP EIS will analyze alternatives for the disposition of 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium using the capabilities at multiple sites across the United States. The NNSA’s preferred alternative, the dilute and dispose approach (also known as plutonium downblending), includes converting pit and non-pit plutonium to oxide, blending the oxidized plutonium with an adulterant, and emplacing the resulting transuranic waste underground in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), in New Mexico. The approach would require new, modified, or existing capabilities at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Pantex Plant in Texas, and WIPP.

The meetings: The objective of the meetings is for the NNSA to receive public comments to assist it in determining the appropriate scope of the SPDP EIS. Comments are requested on the dilute and dispose alternative, other reasonable alternatives that the agency should consider, the scope of the EIS, and environmental topics that the agency should evaluate in the EIS.

Participant particulars: Two ways to participate in the meetings and provide comments are as follows:

Video:

  • For computer users, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox gives the best results.

Audio:

  • Call 1-844-621-3956
  • Enter the ID per date of meeting:
    • On January 25, the ID is 146 423 6294
    • On January 26, the ID is 146 093 7212

Comments may also be submitted:

  • E-mail: SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV (preferred)
    (Please use the subject line: SPDP EIS Scoping Comment)
  • Phone: 803-952-7434
  • U.S. mail to:

Mr. Jeffrey Galan
NEPA Document Manager
NNSA Office of Material Management and Minimization
Savannah River Site
P.O. Box A, Bldg. 730-2B, Rm. 328
Aiken, SC 29802

The work after: Following completion of the public comment period, the NNSA will prepare a draft EIS and allow further public comment on it before preparing a final EIS and record of decision.


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