The Department of Energy and its environmental contractor broke ground last week on a major new expansion to more than double the capacity of the low-level radioactive waste landfill at the Idaho National Laboratory.
The current 390,000 cubic meters of capacity at the Idaho Comprehensive Disposal Facility is 80% filled, DOE said in a Tuesday news release. The facility is on pace to be filled in 2025.
Once the expansion is finished, the landfill for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act waste will have a total capacity of more than 1 million cubic meters, DOE said.
A 2020 forecast predicted at least 340,000 more cubic meters of onsite waste will result from Superfund-related work and demolition of old structures through 2050, DOE said. The federal agency’s Jacobs-led contractor, Idaho Environmental Coalition, plans to open the new disposal cell in 2026.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality signed off on the landfill expansion last November. The Joe Biden (D) administration requested $46.5 million for the Idaho expansion project in fiscal 2024, far more than the $8 million approved in Congress’s fiscal 2023 budget.