Environment News Service

AmeriScan: October 14, 1999

PUBLIC COMMENTS SOUGHT ON HANFORD REACTOR RESTART

RICHLAND, Washington, October 14, 1999 (ENS) - The Department of Energy (DOE) began holding public scoping meetings this week to gather comments on the proposed restart of the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), the department's largest operable nuclear reactor located at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. Restarting the FFTF is one of several proposals designed to meet future needs for civilian nuclear research and development and production of radioactive isotopes for research and medical uses. Other alternatives include using existing facilities to produce new radioactive materials, such as plutonium-238 for future space missions; constructing one or more new accelerators; and constructing a new research reactor. The DOE’s programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on these plans also includes a "no action" alternative, under which the department would continue to rely on its existing infrastructure for production of isotopes and nuclear research and development.

The DOE will accept comments on the PEIS through October 31, 1999. Public meetings will be held (from 6 to 9 pm unless noted) in the following locations:

Idaho Falls, Idaho: The Shilo Inn, October 15
Seattle, Washington: Seattle Center, October 18,
Portland, Oregon: Marriott Hotel-Downtown, October 19
Hood River, Oregon: Hood River Inn, October 20
Richland, Washington: Best Western Tower Inn and Conference Center, October 21
Washington, DC: Marriott at Metro Center, 2 to 5 pm, October 27
Additional project information can be found on the DOE Web Site at http://www.ne.doe.gov.

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