NNSA to hold virtual public meetings regarding Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program

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.

NNSA site tour continues for administrator

NNSA Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty spoke during the agency's 20th Anniversary Celebration event that recognized milestones at the Pantex Plant. Source: NNSA

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, NNSA administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty is continuing with her trip to visit NNSA’s eight laboratories, plants, and sites.

Last week, Gordon-Hagerty was at the Pantex Plant, in Amarillo, Texas, for a 20th Anniversary Celebration of the NNSA.

So far, the tour of sites, which began in July, has taken Gordon-Hagerty to the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.; Sandia National Laboratories and the NNSA Albuquerque Complex in Albuquerque, N.M.; and Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., in addition to the Pantex Plant. She is expected to complete the tour by year’s end.