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Greater-Than-Class-C Low-Level Radioactive Waste EIS
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is Preparing the EIS

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management (DOE EM), is preparing the Greater-Than-Class C LLRW EIS.

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management (DOE EM), is preparing the Greater-Than-Class C LLRW EIS. DOE EM is being assisted by Argonne National Laboratory in the preparation of the EIS. Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) provided assistance in the preparation of baseline documents to support the EIS analysis.

About DOE EM

The Office of Environmental Management within DOE is responsible for the risk reduction and cleanup of the environmental legacy of the Nation's nuclear weapons program, one of the largest, most diverse, and technically complex environmental programs in the world. In addition to its emphasis on site cleanup and closures, EM is also focusing on longer-term activities required for the completion of the cleanup program. These include:

  • Constructing and operating facilities to treat radioactive liquid tank waste into a safe, stable form to enable ultimate disposition.
  • Securing and storing nuclear material in a stable, safe configuration in secure locations to protect national security.
  • Transporting and disposing of transuranic and low-level wastes in a safe and cost-effective manner to reduce risk.

DOE was assigned responsibility to develop disposal capability for GTCC LLRW, and EM is the DOE office implementing this task.

About the Office of Disposition Planning and Policy (EM-32)

The Office of Disposition Planning and Policy (EM-32) provides expert advice, leadership and guidance for ensuring safe and effective management of EM wastes and excess valuable materials. The office serves as the Department's lead for DOE O 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management. The office also serves as the principal representative in EM for excess materials disposition programs. Specifically, the office provides guidance and direction on management of excess uranium, heavy water, and uranium-bearing materials that have future beneficial use or are considered to have potential market value. The office also provides strategic direction and management for surplus scrap metals inventories at EM sites, including nickel, to ensure optimal retention of material value and/or safe and cost-effective disposition of the inventories. The office also continuously evaluates DOE disposal systems and resources and leads development of future disposal systems, as necessary, to accomplish EM mission.

About Argonne

Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory, chartered in 1946.

The Environmental Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory conducts applied research, assessment, and technology development in such areas as risk and waste management, natural resources, integrated assessments, restoration, pollution prevention, environmental policy analysis and planning, and environmental management.

About Sandia

Sandia National Laboratories was established in 1949 and is a U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration facility. Sandia's mission is to develop science-based technologies to support national security in five key areas: nuclear weapons, energy and infrastructure assurance, nonproliferation, defense systems and assessments, and homeland security.

The EIS Team

DOE EM-32 will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the EIS in order to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns identified. Specialists with expertise in the following disciplines will be involved in the planning process: nuclear engineering, health physics, waste management, chemistry, geology, hydrology, ecology, air quality, archeology, soils, sociology, and economics.

DOE, NRC, and EPA Roles in the Preparation of the EIS

DOE has the responsibility for developing appropriate disposal capability for GTCC LLRW, and is the lead agency for preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for licensing commercial disposal facilities for low-level radioactive waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is participating in the EIS process as a cooperating agency. The NRC is participating in the EIS as a commenting agency