A radiological worker surveys the inside of a TRUPACT-II containment lid during waste handling operations at WIPP. Photo: DOE
Dry cask storage at the closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California. Photo: Southern California Edison
Saying they are cautiously optimistic that the Biden administration can change the U.S. trajectory on nuclear waste, some Stanford University experts have offered their recommendations on how it can be done in a recent Stanford news posting.
A front-and-back illustration of the new Hanford ETF filter system, which is intended to eliminate the need to shut down operations every 12 hours to replace filters during wastewater processing. Image: DOE
A new wastewater filter system being installed at Hanford’s Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) is expected to increase waste processing throughput, improve efficiency, and save money as the site in southeastern Washington gears up to treat tank waste, the Department of Energy announced.
Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE interim storage facility. Image: Holtec
New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas has filed suit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the United States, seeking to stop Holtec International’s application to build and operate its HI-STORE consolidated interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel in the state. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico on March 29, seeks a declaratory judgment that the NRC is acting beyond the scope of its authority and an injunction preventing the licensing from moving forward.
Savannah River’s DWPF has been pouring high-level waste canisters for a quarter of a century. Photo: DOE
The month of March marked the 25th year of radiological operations for the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Radiological operations at DWPF, which is used to treat Savannah River’s high-level radioactive tank waste, began on March 12, 1996, with the first canister of vitrified waste poured on April 29 that year.
To date, more than 4,200 stainless steel canisters of vitrified waste have been poured at DWPF, according to the DOE.
The only operating waste vitrification plant in the nation, DWPF is operated by Savannah River Remediation, the DOE’s liquid waste contractor at the site. According to the DOE, DWPF operations are expected to continue for approximately 15 more years, and about 4,000 more canisters are scheduled to be produced. The DOE expects to begin hot operations at a second waste vitrification plant later this year at its Idaho National Laboratory site.