DOE Introduces Strategic Vision for Nuclear Waste Cleanup

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management introduced in early May its 10-year plan to reduce the federal government’s nuclear waste footprint.

Environmental Management’s cleanup priorities include conducting its work in a safe, secure and regulatory compliant manner; stabilizing, treating and disposing of radioactive tank waste; managing and disposing of spent (used) nuclear fuel and nuclear materials; disposing of transuranic and mixed low-level nuclear waste; remediating soil and groundwater contamination, and deactivating and decommissioning  excess facilities, all of which will ensure plenty of work for USW atomic workers.

The strategic vision document is one of several tools Environmental Management uses to guide its priorities. It provides a concise summary of the cleanup progress DOE anticipates to complete over the next decade. The document highlights Environmental Management’s significant cleanup accomplishments to date from the time the program started in 1989, as well as the remediation achievements at each DOE site.

Environmental Management Acting Assistant Secretary William “Ike” White told more than 180 community stakeholders, members of intergovernmental groups and others in a May 6 virtual meeting that Strategic Vision is a roadmap to even greater success in the nuclear cleanup program. He emphasized that the DOE was transparent in the plan’s creation, having received input from regulators, tribal nations, local communities and other groups.

Some of the cleanup progress the office anticipates in the next 10 years includes initiating radioactive tank waste treatment at Hanford; completing the new ventilation system and other infrastructure upgrades at WIPP; finishing the treatment of remaining liquid sodium-bearing waste at INL; demolishing two of the three former uranium enrichment process buildings at Portsmouth, and completing deactivation activities at the C-333 uranium enrichment process building and demolishing the C-400 cleaning building at Paducah.

To read more about the cleanup goals for each USW-represented nuclear clean-up site go HERE.

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