Environment News Service


The Department of Energy (DOE) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed construction, operation, and decontamination and decommissioning of a Transuranic (TRU) Waste Treatment Facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Design, development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons created transuranic waste. Transuranic means heavier than uranium, the heaviest naturally occurring element. Transuranic isotopes have a half-life greater than 20 years. The four types of TRU waste that would be treated at the facility are remote-handled TRU waste sludge, low-level radioactive waste associated with the sludge, contact-handled TRU/alpha low-level radioactive waste solids, and remote-handled TRU/alpha low-level radioactive waste solids. All the waste DOE proposes to treat is now stored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The proposed site for the treatment facility is adjacent to the Melton Valley Storage Tanks, where the waste is being stored. DOE invites comments on the scope of the environmental impact statement. The public scoping period begins with the publication of this Notice of Intent and will continue until February 26, 1999. The draft environmental impact statement is scheduled to be published for a 45-day comment period in August. Two public scoping meetings were held in Oak Ridge during the past week. With comments and requests for information contact Gary Riner, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Operations Office, P.O. Box 2001, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, Tel: 423-241-3498; Fax: 423-576-5333.

Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights Reserved.