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On the Calendar

September 21, 2017
Event: Public Meeting on Proposed Capsule Storage
Address: Richland Public Library 955 Northgate Dr.
City: Richland, WA 99352
Category: Public Involvement Meetings
Event Date: 5:30 pm

Notice of Public Meeting on the Siting, Construction, and Operation of the Proposed Capsule Storage Area for Cesium and Strontium at Hanford

Date: September 21, 2017
Time: 5:30
Location: Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland, WA

The U.S. Department of Energy Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), invite you to learn more about the siting, construction, and operation of the proposed Capsule Storage Area (CSA). It will be constructed for dry storage of the cesium and strontium capsules—currently in wet storage at the Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF)—in the 200 East area of the DOE Hanford Site.

DOE-RL representatives will provide information on the CSA and its role in storing the cesium and strontium capsules. Ecology will explain the state’s role and the process of issuing a dangerous waste permit for the facility.

In the 1970s, radioactive isotopes of the elements cesium and strontium were removed from waste and placed in 1,936 sturdy, stainless steel capsules and stored in concrete pool cells, where they remain today. Workers carefully monitor the capsules in the WESF. Water in the pool cells provides shielding to workers and keeps the capsules cool.

While the capsules are currently in a safe configuration, WESF is an aging facility. Dry storage would significantly reduce the possibility of a release of radioactive material should an unlikely event cause the loss of pool storage water, which may result in the overheating and breach of one or more capsules.

DOE-RL submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) application to Ecology to construct the CSA. Ecology acknowledged the NOI in response letter 17-NWP-052, and addressed the citizen/proponent negotiation requirements. As a result, a meeting is required to solicit questions and inform the community of the proposed dangerous waste management activities. There is no formal comment period associated with the meeting. The public will have an opportunity to provide comments during the permit modification process, which will include a formal comment period as well as an additional public meeting. Those dates have not been set yet.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can listen via webinar. To register go to:
Webinar ID: 578-107-899

For questions, contact Rich Buel DOE-RL or P.O. Box 550, Richland, WA 99352 at (509) 376-3375, and Randy Bradbury Ecology or 3100 Port of Benton Blvd, Richland WA 99354 at (509) 372-7954. Please contact the DOE-RL contact at least 72 hours before the meeting if you need special access to participate.

See map of the proposed capsule storage area.

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