First Shipment of High Level Radioactive Waste Trucked to West Texas


ANDREWS, TX – The Department of Energy (DOE) has completed the first application of its science-based approach to managing reprocessing waste with the safe and successful shipment of a small quantity of liquid waste from the Savannah River Site (SRS).

The Department on Sept. 22 completed the shipment of 8 gallons of recycle wastewater from the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at SRS for treatment and disposal. The waste was sent to Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas, which is a licensed commercial disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste.

The shipment represents the first application of DOE’s science-based high-level radioactive waste (HLW) interpretation.

“The high-level waste interpretation enables the Department to better address one of its largest environmental risks by potentially allowing the opening of new disposition paths for waste that has been stored for decades at DOE sites with no near-term path for disposal,” said Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science.

This HLW interpretation allows for reprocessing waste to be managed according to how radioactive it is, and not by its source. DWPF recycle wastewater was analyzed and determined to meet criteria for disposal as low-level radioactive waste in accordance with its radiological characteristics.

The DWPF recycle wastewater meets the waste acceptance criteria at Waste Control Specialists, and its treatment and disposal at this site is fully protective of public health, safety, and the environment.


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