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Event: Public Comment Period for Changes to the TPA for Retrieving, Treating and Disposing of Hanford Site Waste
Category: Public Comment Periods
Event Date: 04/26/2021 to 06/23/2021
 


This is a message from the Tri-Party Agreement Agencies

Public Comment Period and Virtual Public Meeting on Changes to the Tri-Party Agreement for Retrieving, Treating and Disposing of Hanford Site Waste

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA) agencies — recently completed negotiations on a series of milestones for managing radioactive solid waste located on Hanford’s Central Plateau and are proposing changes to the TPA. The TPA agencies want your input on the proposed changes.

The public comment period runs from April 26 through June 14 June 23, 2021. A virtual public meeting will be held May 13, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. PT. To participate via GoToWebinar, please follow the instructions below:

Visual (presentation only):

Click the GoToWebinar link: https://bit.ly/3wCPzaj

ID #: 290-913-427

Audio:

1. Dial +1 509-372-3087 (local) or +1 800-664-0771 (long distance)
2. Enter Conference ID: 1333#

Please submit comments by June 14 June 23 to M-091@rl.gov (preferred) or in writing to:

Attn: Jennifer Colborn, HMIS
P.O. Box 450, H6-60
Richland, WA 99352

The negotiations resulted in a set of proposed changes to the M-091 series of TPA milestones that include a commitment to restart shipments of Hanford’s transuranic mixed waste (TRUM) to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), near Carlsbad, New Mexico for disposal by 2028 and an achievable schedule for retrieving, characterizing, and disposing of Hanford’s mixed low-level waste (MLLW) and TRUM waste.

MLLW is radioactive waste that contains a hazardous (e.g., chemical) component and is disposed of on the Hanford Site. The hazardous components of mixed wastes are subject to federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or Washington State Dangerous Waste regulations. TRUM refers to radioactive waste contaminated with artificially made elements above uranium on the periodic table (e.g., plutonium, americium) and hazardous components.

Workers will retrieve approximately 17,500 containers of waste stored underground in Hanford’s Low-Level Burial Grounds to determine if they contain MLLW or TRUM. The containers, along with approximately 11,000 containers that have already been retrieved and are stored aboveground in the Solid Waste Operations Complex, will be examined, characterized and treated, if necessary, to ensure they meet requirements for disposal.

The proposed changes to the TPA are a joint proposal by the TPA agencies that establish an achievable schedule for safely managing and disposing of MLLW and TRUM waste. Under the proposal, 99% of the TRUM waste would be shipped to the WIPP by 2040. A few large containers would be dealt with between 2040 and 2050. Waste to be shipped after 2040 also includes a small number of remote-handled containers that would benefit from 20 years of radioactive decay.

The draft proposed change package is available online during the public comment period on the Hanford public involvement website at https://go.usa.gov/xVmew, in the Administrative Record at https://go.usa.gov/xsykj, and in the Hanford Public Information Repositories at https://go.usa.gov/xVDTS.

Questions? Please contact Jennifer Colborn, Hanford Mission Integration Solutions, at Jennifer_M_Colborn@rl.gov or (509) 376-5840.

Please contact Jennifer Colborn at Jennifer_M_Colborn@rl.gov or (509) 376-5840 to request disability accommodation. DOE makes every effort to honor disability accommodation requests.

 

Fact Sheet

Public Meeting Presentation

The Final Approval Package is now available in the Administrative Record

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