DOE Tank Waste: How clean is clean enough? The U.S. Congress asked the National Academies to evaluate the Department of Energy s (DOE s) plans for cleaning up defense-related radioactive wastes stored in underground tanks at three sites: the Hanford Site in Washington State, the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, and the Idaho National Laboratory. DOE plans to remove the waste from the tanks, separate out high-level radioactive waste to be shipped to an off-site geological repository, and dispose of the remaining lower-activity waste onsite. The report concludes that DOE s overall plan is workable, but some important challenges must be overcome including the removal of residual waste from some tanks, especially at Hanford and Savannah River. The report recommends that DOE pursue a more risk-informed, consistent, participatory, and transparent for making decisions about how much waste to retrieve from tanks and how much to dispose of onsite. The report offers several other detailed recommendations to improve the technical soundness of DOE's tank cleanup plans.
National Research Council. Tank Waste Retrieval, Processing, and On-site Disposal at Three Department of Energy Sites: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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