Locations of Disposal Facilities for Waste Incidental to Reprocessing
In the United States, there are currently four disposal facilities storing waste incidental to reprocessing (WIR). These are located near Aiken, South Carolina; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Richland, Washington; and West Valley, New York. Of those four locations, South Carolina and Idaho are known as Covered States, as defined in Section 3116 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (NDAA). The NRC does not have regulatory or enforcement authority over DOE at any of the four facilities. This page briefly describes the regulation of those four facilities. Select the facility name from the list below the following map.
Under Section 3116 of the NDAA:
- Idaho National Laboratory, ID and Savannah River Site, SC
The provisions set forth in NDAA Section 3116 applies only to waste that will be disposed of in the Covered States of South Carolina and Idaho, but not to waste that will be transported out of those States. Under those provisions, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) consults with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC performs a technical review of DOE's draft waste determination, including performance assessment and other documentation, and arrives at an independent conclusion as to whether there is reasonable assurance that DOE's approach can meet the criteria set forth in NDAA Section 3116(a). After the Secretary of Energy signs the Final waste determination, NRC monitors the DOE disposal actions in coordination with the Covered State (i.e., currently Idaho or South Carolina) to determine whether DOE complies with the performance objectives set forth in Subpart C of Title 10, Part 61, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 61), "Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste."
Not Under Section 3116 of the NDAA:
- West Valley, NY
In 1981, portions of the West Valley site license, held by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), were put into abeyance in order to execute the 1980 West Valley Demonstration Project Act (WVDPA). The WVDPA authorized the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with NYSERDA, to perform certain objectives leading to the restoration and cleanup of contaminated areas on the West Valley campus. Note that the West Valley site is not covered under the NDAA; rather, this site is subject to alternative criteria for waste determinations (referred to as WIR evaluations for sites not covered by NDAA), as specified in the West Valley Policy Statement. The NRC provides technical consultation in an advisory capacity for waste determination reviews, as requested by DOE via an Interagency Agreement.
- Richland, WA
At the Hanford Site, The Hanford Tri-Party Agreement contains the criteria for incidental waste determinations and is not covered under the NDAA. The NRC provides technical consultation in an advisory capacity for waste determination reviews, as requested by DOE via an Interagency Agreement.