United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NON-NDAA Waste Incidental to Reprocessing (WIR) at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) in New York – West Valley Components

WVDP in West Valley, New York
Aerial Photograph of the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) In New York

Operator: U.S. Department of Energy
Docket Number: 0500201 and POOM-032

For WIR not covered under the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (i.e., non-NDAA WIR), the role of the NRC is: if requested by the DOE through an Interagency Agreement (i.e., the DOE funds the NRC), then the DOE will consult with the NRC and the NRC will provide a technical review evaluating the DOE documents describing how the DOE proposes to dispose the component(s) as low-level waste offsite.

The West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) is located in western New York State, about 50 kilometers (kms) (30 miles (mi)) south of Buffalo, New York. The WVDP facilities occupy a security-fenced area of about 0.676 square kilometers (km2) (167 acres) within the 13.51 km2 (3,338 acre) Western New York Nuclear Service Center (WNYNSC) located primarily in the town of Ashford in northern Cattaraugus County.

To date, the West Valley site in West Valley, New York is the first and only commercial reprocessing plant to operate in the United States. From 1966 to 1972, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) reprocessed 640 metric tons of spent fuel under an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) license. Approximately four years after shutting down, NFS returned control of the facilities to the site owner, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Operations at the facility resulted in approximately 2.3 million litres (600,000 gallons) of liquid high-level waste (HLW) which was stored below ground in carbon-steel tanks, as well as other radioactive wastes, and residual radioactive contamination.

Previously, the DOE requested that the NRC Consult on two non-NDAA WIR reviews at WVDP for West Valley Components:

  • Vitrification Melter – Consultation Completed
  • Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank and Melter Feed Hold Tank – Consultation Completed

Currently, there are no non-NDAA WIR consultation activities occurring at the WVDP by the NRC.

Major Non-NDAA WIR Consultation Documents For The WVDP:

Document Date ADAMS Accession No.
Non-NDAA WIR Consultation Documents
DOE Draft WIR Evaluation for the Vitrification Melter 03/08/2011 ML110730801
NRC Technical Evaluation Report for the Vitrification Melter 08/31/2011 ML112031115
DOE Draft WIR Evaluation for the Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank and the Melter Feed Hold Tank 06/01/2012 ML12179A464
NRC Technical Evaluation Report for the Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank and the Melter Feed Hold Tank 10/31/2012 ML12270A279

Current NRC Project Manager: Harry Felsher, 301-415-6559, Harry.Felsher@nrc.gov

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, March 16, 2020