Morning Briefing - March 28, 2023
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March 28, 2023

New milestone agreement for SRS: liquid waste-tanks to ‘operationally’ close by 2037

By Dan Leone

The Department of Energy and state and federal regulators agreed that the agency will finish cleaning up most liquid waste at the former plutonium production site near the Georgia line by 2037, the agency and the site’s prime contractor announced Tuesday morning.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have, over the past several months hammered out an updated Federal Facility Agreement to guide cleanup of the 34 million gallons of nuclear tank waste left over from decades of weapons work at the site.

Under the revised agreement, the site’s 43 tanks of liquid radioactive waste “are slated to be operationally closed by 2037,” DOE and its cleanup contractor, Savannah River Mission Completion, wrote in a joint press release.

At the Savannah River Site, DOE and its liquid waste contractor solidify liquid waste created from plutonium production and by other radioactive work during the cold war. The site’s Defense Waste Processing Facility turns the site’s high-level liquid waste into more stable glass logs, which eventually could be disposed of in a deep geologic repository, if one is ever built in the U.S.

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