The U.S. Department of Energy formally signed a plan Wednesday to prepare and move 6 metric tons of plutonium from the Savannah River Site to a repository in New Mexico. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s official record of decision designates downblending and storage as the preferred plan for the material as part of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. According to Tom Clements, director of the nuclear watchdog group SRS Watch, there are approximately 125 containers from SRS already interred at the WIPP site and another 97 were in queue when a fire on a salt truck shut down operations in 2014. No concrete dates have been announced for the site’s reopening. This agreement indicates two things to me,” Clements said. “One, plutonium disposition is in chaos and any route has problems. Second, perhaps serious discussions are under way to move plutonium disposition forward.”
Aiken Standard 30th March 2016 read more »
U.S.-bound plutonium that has recently been shipped out of Japan will be disposed of at a nuclear waste repository in New Mexico after being processed for “inertion” at the Savannah River Site atomic facility in South Carolina, according to an official of the National Nuclear Security Administration. “The plutonium will be diluted into a less sensitive form at the SRS and then transported to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for permanent disposal deep underground,” said Ross Matzkin-Bridger in charge of the operation at the NNSA, a nuclear wing of the Department of Energy. “The dilution process involves mixing the plutonium with inert materials that reduce the concentration of plutonium and make it practically impossible to ever purify again,” he told Kyodo News in a recent phone interview.
Japan Times 2nd April 2016 read more »