Heart of America Northwest



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Candidate sites for disposal of USDOE’s Mixed Wastes (MW), must be judged according to their hydrogeology over an appropriate time frame: up to 10,000 years. US Department of Energy (USDOE) has identified three options for disposal of vast quantities of Mixed Waste. Those three options include the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (alongside the Columbia River in Washington), Nevada Test Site (NTS) and at a private facility in Clive, Utah run by Envirocare of Utah (whose parent company was recently renamed “EnviroSolutions”). The quantities of wastes that might be added to the soils at these sites are enormous.1 All three are currently disposing of Mixed Waste or in the process of permitting for this purpose.

In this report, for the first time, the alternative sites for disposal of Mixed Waste are independently compared in regard to their fundamental geologic and hyrodologic conditions, design, standards utilized, and actual monitoring. A fundamental conclusion of the report by John Brodeur, L.G.E, P.E., is that the hydrogeologic landscape determines the fundamental scale of impacts to the environment and human health – regardless of MLL Radioactive & Hazardous Waste Facilities 6 engineering efforts. In sum, the site matters. In addition to the site, the design and actual operation are shown to matter a great deal, and we find tremendous differences exist between alternative sites.

This publication is a compilation of research and work products undertaken during the duration of a CitizensMonitoring and Technical Assistance Fund grant from 2004 through March 2006, to create a Cross-Site Review of Mixed Waste Disposal Facilities, and review Hanford specific landfill related documents and decisions. While comparing the three major alternative disposal sites (Hanford, NTS and Envirocare), four specific burial grounds were considered at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF); Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF); US Ecology Commercial Low-Level Waste landfill; and, USDOE’s Hanford Low-Level Burial Grounds (LLGB).

This research was completed money allocated during Round 5 of the Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund (MTA Fund). Clark University was named conservator of these works.

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Heart of America Northwest




nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons testing, environment, non-governmental organizations, United States Department of Energy, tribal governments, environmental cleanup, radioactive fallout, radioactive waste


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Seattle, WA

Mixed Low-Level Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Disposal Facilities



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