Over 1,400 Riverkeeper Members Blast Trump Administration’s Proposal on High-Level Waste

You sent a powerful message: protect the Columbia River and ditch plans to re-define high-level radioactive waste.

Photo by Sara Quinn.

Feds Should Not Abandon Nuclear Waste

Columbia Riverkeeper joined a coalition of non-profit groups across the U.S. and called on the federal government to protect the public health and our environment from nuclear waste. Check out Riverkeeper’s joint comments on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (Energy) proposal to re-interpret the definition of high-level radioactive waste.

Energy’s proposal would fly in the face of current, applicable law and violate Congress’s express direction in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

High-level waste contains radionuclides that pose long-term dangers to human health and the environment, Congress enacted laws that define Energy’s responsibilities to safely manage the waste at its sites—like the Hanford Nuclear Site along the Columbia River—and dispose of that waste in deep geologic repositories.

Energy’s proposal parallels the government’s effort to reclassify high-level waste and short-cut cleanup of highly radioactive waste via the “Waste Incidental to Reprocessing Determination” effort for 16 high-level waste tanks at Hanford. As Riverkeeper and others have repeatedly stated, re-defining is not cleanup.