NRC considers licensing an Idaho facility to handle LLW

February 10, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an environmental assessment for Qal-Tek’s license application for a radioactive waste handling and temporary storage facility in Idaho. The NRC concluded that there would be no significant impacts to environmental resources from the proposed facility and subsequently issued a finding of no significant impact, notice of which was published in the February 6 Federal Register.

If approved, the license would authorize Qal-Tek to receive, process, verify, package, and ship low-level radioactive waste off-site for final disposal, as well as sealed sources and devices for off-site recycling or disposal as LLW. The company, which offers instrumentation, calibration, training, and safety services in the nuclear and radiological fields, would conduct these activities at existing facilities leased from US Ecology, an environmental services and waste management company located about 25 miles southeast of Boise, near Mayfield, Idaho.

Background: In February 2021, Qal-Tek submitted a license application to the NRC to operate the waste processing facility. According the NRC, the company anticipates receiving Class A through Class C sealed sources and devices and Class A soil, debris, and water wastes from U.S. nuclear power plants, research and accelerator facilities, and other commercial licensees, as well as cleanup and decommissioning wastes from federal cleanup projects.

After verification and processing, the wastes would be shipped to a commercial LLW disposal facility, which could include US Ecology’s Richland, Wash., facility; EnergySolutions’ Clive, Utah, site; and the Waste Control Specialists facility in Andrews County, Texas.

The Qal-Tek facility would receive an estimated average of 19,272 cubic meters of waste materials annually over a five-year period from 2022 to 2026, with most waste shipments coming in bulk containers. It is estimated that the site would receive approximately 50 waste shipments by truck and approximately 12 shipments by rail every month.

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