Friday, 23 July 2021 13:21

DOE moves ahead with plans for radioactive waste dump on Oak Ridge Reservation despite concerns about its ultimate holding power

Oak Ridger: Landfill moves ahead, for now, for DOE demolition debris in Oak Ridge

Hellbender Press contributor Ben Pounds has a great piece in the Oak Ridger about a long dispute over a plan to bury low-level nuclear onsite in a greenfield on Department of Energy property in Oak Ridge. Over the years, many such contaminated materials were typically transported to off-site storage points, namely the western U.S.

Detractors of the plan worry local landfill membranes and safeguards could ultimately fail or be compromised, leading to a surge of low-level radioactive materials and associated contaminants, into the surrounding area and its water tables. Most of the debris slated for storage comes from the demolished legacy buildings of the Oak Ridge Reservation, originally built as part of the Manhattan Project atomic weapons program during World War II.

“DOE released a Draft Record of Decision Monday, July 12, which goes over some of the aspects of this proposed landfill and environmental issues related to it, as part of the process to get approval from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation,” Pounds reported in the Oak Ridger.

“Kim Schofinski, TDEC deputy communications director, stated her agency is currently reviewing the document and its revisions, which could take around 120 days.”