AIKEN, S.C. – EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White has approved a proposal that will save decades of work and billions of dollars in spent nuclear fuel disposition at the Savannah River Site (SRS).
The Accelerated Basin De-inventory (ABD) mission will allow SRS to process all remaining spent nuclear fuel in the L Basin storage area through H Canyon without recovery of highly enriched uranium, and immobilize the resulting dissolved material to be disposed in the future. It is expected to save more than 20 years of work and related costs, including securing and managing the stored spent fuel. H Canyon is the only large-scale, remotely operated chemical separations plant operating in the U.S.
The proposal comes after years of expert study and analysis. Supporters say it will significantly reduce DOE cost, risk and long-term liability associated with stored spent nuclear fuel.
The ABD method will convert the dissolved nuclear material to forms that are proliferation resistant and can be safely stored for long periods with minimal maintenance. It accelerates work to remove spent nuclear fuel from L Basin while maintaining safety and security, will free up space in L Basin for other uses, and save taxpayers approximately $4 billion.
White launched the regulatory timetable for the proposal by signing an amended record of decision and a supplemental analysis to a 2000 record of decision for management of about 29.2 metric tons spent nuclear fuel and related materials.
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