Funding cuts jeopardize cleanup of nuclear waste sites

Mar 10, 2008

The Federal Government may need at least 20 years longer than previously planned — and an additional $50 billion — to clean up radioactive and hazardous wastes at nuclear weapons sites, according to an article scheduled for the March 10 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’ weekly newsmagazine.

The article, written by C&EN Senior Editor Jeff Johnson, cites a new U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) audit of its operations estimating that clean-up costs may reach $305 billion at about 25 sites where nuclear weapons materials were manufactured.

That’s more than $50 billion above the Bush Administration’s earlier estimate. The audit also indicates that it may take until 2062 to finish the cleanup job, over 20 years longer than originally scheduled.

Still, the clean-up budget proposed this year by the Bush Administration is $5.5 billion, one of the lowest since the massive remediation effort began in the 1980s. The budget cuts may be particularly hard felt at large cleanup sites such as Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Site, the most contaminated nuclear site in the country, the article suggests. Some officials fear that the cuts could delay cleanup of Hanford and other sites indefinitely.

Link: pubs.acs.org/cen/government/86/8610gov2.html

Source: ACS

Explore further: China, EU working on common approach on climate change

Related Stories

$57-million pay cut for lab contractor

Jan 11, 2015

The contractor managing the nuclear weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M., was slapped with a $57-million reduction in its fees for 2014, largely because of a costly nuclear waste accident last year.

Japan sees future business in Fukushima cleanup

Mar 08, 2014

(AP)—There is something surprising in the radioactive wreck that is the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: opportunity. To clean it up, Japan will have to develop technology and expertise that any ...

Nuclear dump leak raises questions about cleanup

Feb 28, 2014

(AP)—Back-to-back accidents and a never-supposed-to-happen above-ground radiation release that exposed at least 13 workers have shuttered the U.S. government's only deep underground nuclear waste dump indefinitely.

Uncertainties abound in Fukushima decommissioning

Nov 19, 2013

It's costly, risky and dependent on technologies that have yet to be fully developed. A decades-long journey filled with unknowns lies ahead for Japan, which took a small step this week toward decommissioning ...

Japan's cleanup lags from tsunami, nuke accident

Mar 10, 2013

(AP)—Two years after the triple calamities of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster ravaged Japan's northeastern Pacific coast, debris containing asbestos, lead, PCBs—and perhaps most worrying—radioactive ...

Recommended for you

Brackish groundwater important to West Texas

3 hours ago

Even with the downturn in the oil patch, interest in brackish groundwater remains high across West Texas, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service range expert said.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.