Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Cleanup Progress at the INL Under the 1995 Settlement Agreement

The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for meeting a number of requirements to clean up and remove radioactive waste at the INL. DOE has met a majority of its cleanup obligations, sending thousands of shipments of transuranic waste out of state, transferring most of the spent nuclear fuel to dry storage, and treating high-level liquid waste in 7 of 11 storage tanks. The following tables, shown by waste type, illustrate the current and cumulative status of remaining cleanup obligations at the INL. Additionally, the spent nuclear fuel table shows the amount of fuel brought into Idaho by the Navy and DOE as allowed under the 1995 Settlement Agreement.

Note: INL and INEL refer to the Idaho National Laboratory.

Spent Nuclear Fuel

Activity 2016 Status Cumulative Status Settlement Agreement Requirement
Navy spent nuclear fuel shipments to the INL 1.1 metric tons heavy metal 21.52 metric tons heavy metal Shipments of naval spent fuel to INEL through 2035 shall not exceed 55 metric tons of spent fuel. (Section D.1.b)
DOE spent nuclear fuel shipments to the INL 0.0 metric tons heavy metal 27.7309 metric tons heavy metal After December 31, 2000, DOE may transport shipments of spent fuel to INEL constituting a total of no more than 55 metric tons of DOE spent fuel... (Section D.2.c)
Commercial power spent nuclear fuel shipments to the INL 0 kilograms heavy metal 0 kilograms heavy metal As further limitation, not more than 400 kilograms total heavy metal content of Commercial Power SNF may be received in any calendar year. (Section 3.(b) of 2011 MOA
DOE spent nuclear fuel moved from wet storage facilities to dry storage 0.4001 metric tons heavy metal

115.9368 metric tons heavy metal

5 of 6 spent fuel storage pools taken out of service
DOE shall complete the transfer of all spent fuel from wet storage facilities at INEL by December 31, 2023. (Section E.8)

High-Level Waste

Activity 2016 Status Cumulative Status Settlement Agreement Requirement
Treat liquid sodium-bearing waste to a solid form No waste was treated Approximately 900,000 gallons of waste remain to be treated DOE shall complete calcination [now steam reforming] of sodium-bearing liquid high-level wastes by December 31, 2012. (Section E.5)
Treat high-level waste so that it is ready for disposal out of Idaho No high-level waste was treated No high-level waste has been treated.

 

DOE has chosen to treat high-level waste through a hot isostatic press process under a 2009 Record of Decision. DOE may also use this treatment process for the liquid sodium-bearing waste once it is solidified, if applicable.
DOE shall treat all high-level waste currently at INEL so that it is ready to be moved out of Idaho for disposal by a target date of 2035. (Section C.3)

 

DOE shall accelerate efforts to evaluate alternatives for the treatment of calcined waste so as to put it into a form suitable for transport to a permanent repository or interim storage facility outside of Idaho. (Section E.6)

Transuranic Waste

Note: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico has temporarily shut down as of February 2014 and DOE is unable to ship transuranic waste out of Idaho. DOE continues to process and repackage the waste awaiting resumption of shipments.
Activity 2016 Status Cumulative Status Settlement Agreement Requirement
Transuranic waste shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico Total = 0 cubic meters

Remote handled = 0 cubic meters

Contact handled = 0 cubic meters

Total = 40,836 cubic meters

Remote handled = 124 cubic meters

Contact handled = 40,712 cubic meters
DOE shall ship all transuranic waste now located at the INEL, currently estimated at 65,000 cubic meters in volume to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) or other such facility designated by DOE, by a target date of December 31, 2015, and in no event later than December 31, 2018. (Section B.1)
Targeted buried waste shipped out of the state of Idaho

0 cubic meters

5,594 cubic meters

Compliance with the obligation set forth in Section V.A shall be measured as 7,485 cubic meters packaged for shipment out of Idaho. (Section V.A.1 of 2008 Implementation Agreement)
Acres exhumed .41 acres 4.43 acres Retrieve all targeted waste from those areas of the SDA [subsurface disposal area] identified in Appendix E ... [5.69 acres]. (Section V.B.2 of 2008 Implementation Agreement)

 


Staff Contacts

INL Oversight Coordinator
Susan Burke
DEQ State Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0428
susan.burke@deq.idaho.gov