Federal bill would allow radioactive waste to remain at SRS - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Federal bill would allow radioactive waste to remain at SRS

(Washington-AP) May 6, 2004 - A US Senate committee is considering a bill that could allow the government to avoid removing highly radioactive sludge from the Savannah River Site near Aiken.

The Energy Department wants to reclassify some of the 90 million gallons of radioactive waste in tanks at the Savannah River Site and in Idaho and Washington state. That would mean it would not have to be shipped to a special high-level waste repository.

The Energy Department says the residual sludge is too expensive to extract. The government says it can be diluted by covering it with grout so it can be left in place as less radioactive "low level" waste.

Last year, a federal judge in Idaho said the Energy Department plan violates federal law requiring that waste from the production of plutonium must be treated as high-level waste.

posted 7:37am by Chris Rees

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