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On the Calendar

January 21, 2013
Category: Comment Period / Feedback Opportunity
Event Date: December 10, 2012 - January 24, 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) -- the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA) agencies -- recently completed negotiations and are proposing changes to the TPA.  These proposed changes affect several Hanford cleanup projects managed by DOE’s Richland Operations Office (RL) and prioritize an expanding scope of cleanup work. The agencies want your input on these proposed TPA changes before they are finalized.  The public comment period will run from December 10, 2012 through January 24, 2013

The Hanford Site is located in southeastern Washington along the Columbia River.  This 586-square-mile former plutonium production complex is currently engaged in the world’s largest environmental cleanup project overseen by DOE.  Progress continues to be made cleaning up the 220-square-mile River Corridor including treating groundwater across the site to protect the Columbia River and cleaning out and demolishing the Plutonium Finishing Plant – Hanford’s highest risk nuclear facility.  Even though cleanup is progressing, new challenges have come about including the discovery of large, deep chromium waste sites in the 100-B/C and 100-D Areas in the River Corridor and much higher radioactivity than anticipated below the 324 Building, which necessitate schedule changes for Hanford cleanup work
The draft TPA change packages propose to:

  1. Add six new interim milestones and delete two target milestone dates for the River Corridor decision documents. (M-15-12-03)
  2. Extend the completion date for three existing milestones and establish nine new interim milestones to remediate contamination that is more extensive than originally expected and address 154 newly discovered waste sites at Hanford’s reactor areas (the 100 Area). (M-16-12-06)
  3. Extend the closure date for the 324 Building B-Cell due to the discovery of contaminated soil underneath the structure. Also, this change will result in extending the date for completing demolition of all 300 Area surplus facilities. (M-89-12-02 and M-94-12-04)
  4. Provide a revised schedule for placing the K East and K West reactors into Interim Safe Storage (ISS), also called “cocooning,” (M-93-12-02)
  5. Revise interim milestones for the disposition of the canyon facilities on the Central Plateau and their associated waste sites and facilities to incorporate lessons learned from the demolition work at U Plant Canyon.(M-85-12-02)

In addition, the agencies have agreed to pull forward the investigation of deep vadose zone contamination in the Central Plateau, due to the potential threat to groundwater.

A 45-day public comment period on proposed changes to prioritize additional cleanup work will run from December 10, 2012 through January 24, 2013.  At this time, no public meeting is scheduled. To request a public meeting, please contact Tifany Nguyen by December 27, 2012. The TPA agencies would like your feedback on these draft change packages and will consider all comments before finalizing them. For more information, please contact:  Tifany Nguyen, DOE-RL, 509-376-3361.

Please submit comments by January 24, 2013 to:
Tifany Nguyen
U.S. Department of Energy
Richland Operations Office
P.O. Box 550, A7-75
Richland, WA 99352

Fact Sheet

Tentative Agreement and Draft TPA Change Packages

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