RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee makes the following recommendations for future actions to be taken by DOE in its continuing efforts to manage the NFSS K-65 residues in a way that best protects the public and environmental health both in the short and long terms, while at the same time providing cost-effective management and disposal of the residues.

  1. Following completion of related or similar treatment technology studies such as the FEMP vitrification demonstration and related cost-risk-benefit studies, a program should be developed by DOE for removal, treatment, and disposal off-site of the NFSS high-level residues (i.e., those classified as K-65, L-30/F-32, and L-50 residues). Since there is no immediate hazard to the off-site public from the residues in their present configuration, such studies will help ensure proper handling of the residues when they are removed for disposal, as well as to provide an example for future remediation of other sites containing radioactive residues.

  2. After removal of the high-level residues, remaining wastes should be buried under a suitable protective cap.

  3. The adequacy of site monitoring and maintenance activities necessary to ensure the safety of the public and the integrity of the NFSS should be assured. An alternative NFSS monitoring strategy should be developed to measure and track the transport of radiological and chemical contaminants from the NFSS waste containment structure, as well as those reaching the NFSS from contiguous waste disposal areas off site, both prior to and following removal of the residues.

The Committee notes that there are a number of organizations and persons concerned with the NFSS disposal activities, including residents and citizen groups, local and state officials and elected representatives, and adjacent business interests. These and other interested persons and groups should be kept informed of and be invited to participate in planning for activities at the NFSS to the maximum extent practicable.



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OCR for page 49
SAFETY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL URANIUM ORE RESIDUES AT THE NIAGARA FALLS STORAGE SITE, LEWISTON, NEW YORK RECOMMENDATIONS The Committee makes the following recommendations for future actions to be taken by DOE in its continuing efforts to manage the NFSS K-65 residues in a way that best protects the public and environmental health both in the short and long terms, while at the same time providing cost-effective management and disposal of the residues. Following completion of related or similar treatment technology studies such as the FEMP vitrification demonstration and related cost-risk-benefit studies, a program should be developed by DOE for removal, treatment, and disposal off-site of the NFSS high-level residues (i.e., those classified as K-65, L-30/F-32, and L-50 residues). Since there is no immediate hazard to the off-site public from the residues in their present configuration, such studies will help ensure proper handling of the residues when they are removed for disposal, as well as to provide an example for future remediation of other sites containing radioactive residues. After removal of the high-level residues, remaining wastes should be buried under a suitable protective cap. The adequacy of site monitoring and maintenance activities necessary to ensure the safety of the public and the integrity of the NFSS should be assured. An alternative NFSS monitoring strategy should be developed to measure and track the transport of radiological and chemical contaminants from the NFSS waste containment structure, as well as those reaching the NFSS from contiguous waste disposal areas off site, both prior to and following removal of the residues. The Committee notes that there are a number of organizations and persons concerned with the NFSS disposal activities, including residents and citizen groups, local and state officials and elected representatives, and adjacent business interests. These and other interested persons and groups should be kept informed of and be invited to participate in planning for activities at the NFSS to the maximum extent practicable.

OCR for page 49
SAFETY OF THE HIGH-LEVEL URANIUM ORE RESIDUES AT THE NIAGARA FALLS STORAGE SITE, LEWISTON, NEW YORK This page in the original is blank.