Locations of Disposal Facilities for Waste Incidental to Reprocessing
In the United States, there are currently four disposal facilities storing waste materials incidental to reprocessing (WIR). These are located in Aiken, South Carolina; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Richland, Washington; and West Valley, New York. Of these 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). This page briefly describes the regulation of these facilities. Select the facility name from the list below the following map.
- Idaho National Laboratory, ID and Savannah River Site, SC The provisions set forth in Section 3116 of the NDAA 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. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provides technical consultation to the DOE for each of the waste determinations rendered by the Secretary of Energy. Toward that end, the NRC performs a technical review of DOE's waste determinations and arrives at an independent conclusion as to whether there is reasonable assurance that DOE's waste management approach can meet the criteria set forth in Section 3116. In addition, the NRC, in coordination with the Covered States, monitors DOE's disposal of non-high-level wastes. In so doing, the NRC and Covered States assess DOE's disposal actions to determine whether they comply 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.” However, the NRC does not have regulatory or enforcement authority over DOE, and the final decision on whether incidental waste meets the criteria rests with the DOE. For additional detail regarding the NRC's role, see Idaho National Laboratory Disposal Facility and Savannah River Site Disposal Facility for Waste Incidental to Reprocessing.
- 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, as specified in the West Valley Policy Statement.
- Richland, WA At the Hanford Site, DOE is responsible for determining which criteria apply to incidental waste determinations. Nonetheless, the NRC provides technical consultation in an advisory capacity for waste determination reviews, as requested by DOE. Note, however, that the Hanford site is not covered under the NDAA and could decide to use the requirements of DOE Order 435.1.