The Department of Energy and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will hold public scoping hearings about the West Valley Nuclear Waste site decommissioning process March 19, 20, and 21 in three seperate locations.
West Valley is just a 30 miles from Buffalo, and it’s location has impacts on Cattaraugus Creek which empties into Lake Erie which provides our drinking water and that of millions of American and Canadians. You should know about this try to attend any of these meetings and make a statement.
Todays GreenWatch has been writtten by Lynda Schneekloth of the Western New York Environmental Alliance.
Protect the Great Lakes, Our Health, and Future Generations
The West Valley Action Network will be holding a press conference at 6:00 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in front of the Erie County Community College City Campus to promote a full clean-up of the radioactivity of the West Valley Nuclear Waste Site.
The Department of Energy and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority are jointly preparing the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) and are holding scoping hearings regarding the Phase 2 decommissioning decision making to determine the final disposition of nuclear waste on the site. West Valley is managed by the Department of Energy and owned by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, agencies responsible for cleaning up the waste and protecting public health and our waters.
This is a critical event in the history of the West Valley site where tons of nuclear and hazardous waste have been stored since the site reprocessed nuclear fuel between 1966 and 1972. Since that time, an array of nuclear waste has been stored and some buried on an unstable site, some of it in unlined trenches in the erodible soils. Much of the radioactive material will be dangerous for millions of years.
Many groups and organizations are arguing that all the nuclear material and other hazardous waste must be totally exhumed. The West Valley site has numerous problems that would disqualify it today under siting regulations for even Low Level radioactive waste disposal facilities (10 CFR 61). (See Note at end) This means that West Valley cannot successfully provide the necessary containment for radioactive wastes without them entering waterways, the Great Lakes and the drinking water for millions of people.
Extreme weather associated with climate change will exacerbate the West Valley site’s vulnerabilities. We expect that extreme weather impacts and their interactions with site vulnerabilities will be thoroughly studied in the SEIS. The premises of the WVDP and including NYSERDA’s State Disposal Area cannot safely contain large quantities of radionuclides. The nuclear waste is not SECURE in its current state and it is vulnerable to loss of containment via multiple natural phenomena including earthquakes, landslides, erosion and extreme weather events.
Long-lived radionuclides in the Great Lakes will affect the health of the lakes and of future generations. It is essential that nuclear wastes at West Valley be excavated and placed in secure containerized storage, until permanent disposal sites are available.
The upcoming hearings are a part of the Environmental Impact Statement process called “Scoping.” Scoping is a public process to secure wide public input into what issues and information the whole Environmental Impact Statement should cover and include. It determines the outline for what will be covered and considered in the EIS leading to the final decisions on cleanup of the site. There will be 3 scoping meetings:
Monday, March 19, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
West Valley Volunteer Hose Company, Inc., Firemen’s Memorial Hall and Training, 9091 Route 240, West Valley, NY 14171, in the Main Hall.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, from 6:00p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Erie Community College, City Campus, Post Office Building, 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, in the Minnie Gillette Auditorium.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Seneca Nation of Indians Cattaraugus Council Chambers, 12837 Route 438, Irving, NY 14081
Everyone is encouraged to speak at these meetings for just 5 minutes.
You must register to speak by contacting the DOE Document manager, Martin Krentz 716-942-4007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lia Oprea of WECAP says: “We are saying DIG IT UP NOW: Contain the waste in above-ground, monitored, retrievable, Long-Term-Secure-Storage, at a safe distance from slumping creek banks and put in place a PLAN FOR ULTIMATE DISPOSAL at an appropriate, fail-safe facility, away from West Valley; far from populated communities, water sources, erosion and earthquake fault-zones.”
For more information see:
10 CFR 61 Siting Requirements § 61.50 Disposal site suitability requirements for land disposal “Areas must be avoided where surface geologic processes such as mass wasting, erosion, slumping, landsliding, or weathering occur with such frequency and extent to significantly affect the ability of the disposal site to meet the performance objectives of subpart C of this part, or may preclude defensible modeling and prediction of long-term impacts.”
The premises of the WVDP and including NYSERDA’s State Disposal Area cannot safely contain large quantities of radionuclides. The nuclear waste is not SECURE in its current state and it is vulnerable to loss of containment via multiple natural phenomena including earthquakes, landslides, erosion and extreme weather events.