11 November 2009

Feds add more radioactive waste to Hanford import ban

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian

After public protest, the U.S. Department of Energy is pledging to keep a significant chunk of radioactive waste -- including metal from decommissioned power plants -- out of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation until at least 2022.

The department had not included that category of waste -- known as "Greater than Class C" or GTCC waste -- in a proposed settlement with Oregon and Washington over cleanup of radioactive tank waste at Hanford. The three parties agreed to a moratorium on disposing of other forms of radioactive waste at Hanford until a plant to treat the tank waste is up and running. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by 2022.

Heart of America Northwest, a Hanford watchdog group, first raised the issue of GTCC waste not being included in the moratorium. That generated protests at public hearings on the settlement, which led the Department of Energy to issue a statement last week saying that the GTCC waste "will not be imported to Hanford for the duration of the moratorium."

-- Scott Learn


  1. This is good to hear, it's an important step in the clean-up of Hanford! Hopefully after 2022, they will still keep radioactive waste from being imported to Hanford.

  2. We hope so too, Nikki, that's why we're encouraging the public and the State of Washington to push for an enforceable ban preventing off-site wastes from coming to Hanford. It's not enough to leave it up to the Department of Energy's easily broken promises & to hope that their simply won't be any waste around to come in 2022.