The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Department of Defense have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining their respective roles in the cleanup of radium and other unlicensed radioactive materials at military sites. Meanwhile, workers at the Y-12 National Security Complex have completed a project to remove over 2000 containers of legacy wastes two years ahead of schedule.
Waste removal milestone for Y-12
Removal of 2247 containers of mixed wastes from the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee has been completed more than two years ahead of a September 2018 deadline.
Disposition of the material is part of a larger effort to dispose of legacy waste materials, which is a high priority for the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Mixed waste is defined as material consisting of hazardous and radioactive wastes. The majority of the wastes – about 2100 containers – removed from the Y-12 complex consisted of solid residues that did not require further treatment to meet disposal requirements. The remainder – solid wastes and organic solutions stored in bottles – required multiple treatment and processing steps to reduce the uranium content and where necessary to stabilize or solidify the wastes to meet transportation and disposal requirements.
Out of total of 193 waste shipments, 187 were sent to Energy Solutions’ Clive facility in Utah, while six were sent to an “off-site federal facility”.
The Y-12 complex is operated by Consolidated Nuclear Security on behalf of the NNSA.
Read more at Progress on US legacy cleanup