NEW YORK The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has
requested feedback on a draft environmental assessment that
could potentially lead it to release accumulated stockpiles of
uncontaminated scrap metals from radiological areas.
The draft study, called a programmatic environmental
assessment, will help the department decide whether scrap
originating from DOE radiological areas should be released for
recycling, disposed of in an alternative manner or continue to
be stored for the time being.
Scrap material has not been released from radiological areas at
DOE facilities for the purpose of recycling since a
departmentwide suspension of the practice was put in place in
July 2000 amid public concerns regarding dangerous scrap
disposal, according to a notice posted in the Federal Register.
The department said in 2001 it would conduct a Programmatic
Environmental Impact Statement on the policy alternatives for
disposing of the metal in question, but that was never
completed, according to the notice.
If adopted, the proposed action would allow the DOE to modify
its existing policies to allow undersecretaries to manage
the radiological clearance process for uncontaminated scrap
metals originating in DOE radiological areas for sites
demonstrated to have robust monitoring and release practices in
place, the notice said.
The draft assessment is available for public review and comment
until Feb. 11.
The DOE did not return calls for further comment.