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Comment deadline Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 1159 pm Eastern Time (DC, NYC, etc): https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3696 Although the comment period is over, you can still email or snail-mail or telephone the DOE. Info on how to email is at the above link.

See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/trump-perry-doe-plan-to-reclassify-high-level-nuclear-waste-as-low-level-through-an-orwellian-stroke-of-a-pen-comment-by-wed-night-1159-pm-eastern-time-january-9th/

US Senator “Wyden said DOE’s push to reinterpret the definition of high-level radioactive waste is of great importance to Oregonians because the department’s Hanford Reservation in Washington is on the banks of the Columbia River. Hanford contains the largest share of DOE’s high-level radioactive waste inventory – about 56 million gallons stored in 177 underground storage tanks, Wyden wrote.

The senator noted that DOE proposes to reinterpret not just its own definition of high-level waste, but also the statutory definition of high-level waste.  Wyden wrote that narrowing the scope of what’s considered high-level waste “is departing from longstanding policies and legal interpretations.”

He wrote that “lowering the bar for level of protection of future generations and the environment by changing the definition of what has always been considered high-level waste requiring permanent disposal is a significant change” https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-says-radioactive-waste-changes-need-more-public-input

Hazardous High-Level Radioactive Waste Becomes So-Called “Low-Level” with the Orwellian Stroke of a Pen: The Trump Department of Energy has proposed linguistic de-toxification for some of the most highly radioactive hazardous wastes…http://www.beyondnuclear.org/radioactive-waste/

November 19, 2018
Wyden Says Radioactive Waste Changes Need More Public Input
Senator says feds’ proposed changes are concerning for safety at Hanford and nationwide
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked the federal Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the public comment period about its proposed new definition of high-level radioactive waste.

Wyden said in a letter to DOE that its 60-day public comment period starting Oct. 10 is far too short given the magnitude of the proposed changes.

“You recently received a request by more than six dozen organizations from across the country requesting that you extend the comment period in this proceeding,” Wyden wrote Anne Marie White, assistant secretary for environmental management at DOE. “I am writing to similarly request that DOE extend the comment period 120 days.”

Wyden said DOE’s push to reinterpret the definition of high-level radioactive waste is of great importance to Oregonians because the department’s Hanford Reservation in Washington is on the banks of the Columbia River. Hanford contains the largest share of DOE’s high-level radioactive waste inventory – about 56 million gallons stored in 177 underground storage tanks, Wyden wrote.

The senator noted that DOE proposes to reinterpret not just its own definition of high-level waste, but also the statutory definition of high-level waste.  Wyden wrote that narrowing the scope of what’s considered high-level waste “is departing from longstanding policies and legal interpretations.”

He wrote that “lowering the bar for level of protection of future generations and the environment by changing the definition of what has always been considered high-level waste requiring permanent disposal is a significant change and could lead to dramatically different clean-up practices and outcomes.”
A copy of the letter is here. https://www.wyden.senate.gov/download/radioactive-waste-letter
Related Files”
111918 Hanford Comments Extension Letter.pdf
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/111918%20Hanford%20Comments%20Extension%20Letter.pdf
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-says-radioactive-waste-changes-need-more-public-input

Related:
April 28, 2015
Wyden Blasts DOE Hanford Contractor for Wasting Millions of Taxpayer Dollars, Demands Investigation
INTERNAL DOCUMENT SHOWS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT ON INCOMPLETE WORK AT HANFORD
Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today demanded an investigation into questionable contracting practices at the Department of Energy’s Hanford nuclear site in Washington State and blasted the DOE for its lack of oversight, citing an internal report from a project management contractor obtained earlier this year.

The report from Bechtel National, Inc., dated January 9, 2015, shows that about $277 million of taxpayer money has been spent on work orders that have not been completed at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant. It also shows that it is costing roughly $5.3 million a year to keep the contracts in place for just one portion of the plant known as the Pretreatment Plant. The Waste Treatment Plant is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Work on the Pretreatment Plant has been halted since 2012 because of unresolved design and construction problems.

In a letter today, Wyden asked Department of Energy Inspector General Greg Friedman to investigate Bechtel’s activities at the Hanford site and what role the DOE played in potential mismanagement of taxpayer funds.

“The DOE has been mismanaging the cleanup at Hanford for three decades,” Wyden said. “I am outraged that the Department claims it doesn’t have enough money to clean up Hanford yet allows such an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars. Taxpayers deserve to know how their money has been spent and the citizens of the Pacific Northwest deserve to have this place cleaned up.”

Wyden has repeatedly called on the Department of Energy to improve oversight and safetypractices at Hanford, starting with a law he wrote more than 20 years ago while in the House of Representatives that required the DOE to monitor risks of leaks from single-shelled storage tanks. http://www.wyden.senate.gov/priorities/hanford
Read Wyden’s letter to the DOE’s inspector general here http://wyden.senate.gov/download/?id=709F844B-4FCF-41DE-ADF7-794E58CA06E7
and find the Bechtel report here. http://wyden.senate.gov/download/?id=C42A8E58-F3F0-482B-BC7E-67B773B1B19C
Related Files

Wyden letter to DOE IG on Hanford contracting 4.28.15.pdf
CCN-270724_01-09-15_PT Purchase Orders_Clean Copy.pdf
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-blasts-doe-hanford-contractor-for-wasting-millions-of-taxpayer-dollars-demands-investigation-


Some of Hanford Tanks DOE-Public Domain via wikipedia


Hanford Site Map PNNL for DOE