NNSA extends comment period on scope of “dilute and dispose” EIS

February 4, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has extended to February 18 the public comment period for the scoping of its planned environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program, which would dilute and dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus military grade plutonium.

The NNSA on December 16 announced its intent to prepare the EIS, which will examine the agency’s preferred alternative, “dilute and dispose,” also known as “plutonium downblending,” and other alternatives for disposing of the material. The NNSA has been pursuing the dilute-and-dispose approach to managing the surplus plutonium following the cancellation of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility at the DOE’s Savannah River Site.

ANS’s take: In comments submitted to the NNSA, the American Nuclear Society urged the agency to rethink the dilute-and-dispose approach, arguing that a better solution for the material is converting it into nuclear fuel for advanced reactors, as was originally intended.

Comments: Written comments on the scope of the EIS and requests for information related to the EIS should be sent by mail to 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; or sent by email or phone to 803/952-7434.

More information about the EIS is available at the NEPA Reading Room on the NNSA website.

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