Radwaste Solutions on the Newswire

DOE’s Environmental Management Office sets out 2022 cleanup priorities

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has established its key priorities for calendar year 2022, covering planned cleanup, project construction, acquisition, and other important accomplishments to advance the office’s environmental and risk-reduction mission. EM is responsible for handling the nation’s Cold War environmental legacy resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

“Our many accomplishments in 2021 positioned EM to achieve an equally challenging slate of priorities in 2022,” said EM senior advisor William “Ike” White. “Our 2022 priorities underscore our goals to accomplish cleanup that is safe and protective of our workforce, the public and the environment, and in a manner that is transparent to the communities that host and support our sites.”

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DOE affirms its interpretation of high-level waste

With a notice published in the December 21 Federal Register, the Department of Energy has affirmed its interpretation of the statutory term “high-level radioactive waste” to mean that not all wastes from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel are HLW. The DOE said it interprets the statutory term such that some reprocessing wastes may be classified as non-HLW and may be safely disposed of in accordance with its radiological characteristics.

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NRC approves transfer of Palisades, Big Rock Point to Holtec for decommissioning

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of the Palisades nuclear power plant licenses from Entergy Nuclear Operations to Holtec International, as owner, and Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI), as decommissioning operator. Holtec and HDI intend to decommission the single-unit pressurized water reactor, located in Covert, Mich., under an accelerated schedule.

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Proposed D&D rule expected to be published in early 2022, NRC says

Holahan

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects to publish its proposed rulemaking for nuclear power reactors transitioning to decontamination and decommissioning in early 2022, according to Patricia Holahan, director of the NRC’s Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs. Holahan spoke during the December 1 opening plenary session of the topical meeting, Decommissioning, Environmental Science and Remote Technology 2021, held in conjunction with the 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo.

On November 3, the NRC commissioners approved the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, subject to edits and comments by the commissioners. According to Holahan, who also serves as special assistant to the director of the NRC’s Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, the NRC staff will incorporate the commission-directed changes into the proposed rule before it is published in the FR. The new rule is intended to make the decommissioning process more efficient by reducing the need for license exemptions and amendments.

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Idaho site marks 30 years of cleanup

When the Department of Energy, the state of Idaho, and the Environmental Protection Agency signed a federal facility agreement and consent order in December 1991, the agencies outlined a plan to investigate and clean up, if necessary, more than 500 individual waste areas within the 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site, which was established in 1949 to design, build, and test nuclear reactors.

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