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Public Comment Sought to Improve ‘Low-Activity’ Radioactive Waste Management and Disposal

Release Date: 11/20/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(11/20/2003) To gather information on concepts and methods that would improve the management and disposal of waste containing small amounts of radioactive materials – called “low activity radioactive waste,” EPA published on Nov. 18an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register seeking public comment on a range of possible approaches. EPA is taking this action in an effort to enhance and expand methods for the safe disposal of “low-activity” radioactive waste. The agency is seeking to minimize storage of these materials and assure sufficient and protective disposal capacity in the future while increasing environmental and public health protection. The agency is also seeking to improve the management of certain wastes that are inconsistently regulated or currently unregulated. The ANPR affects no existing regulations or programs. It introduces the concept of “low-activity” radioactive waste, explores equivalent or superior management and disposal approaches, and focuses on a material’s radiation content rather than its origin. Data, comments and continued public dialogue will guide the agency in determining what, if any, next steps to take. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy provided technical assistance during the ANPR’s development. A 120-day public comment period began Nov. 18. Further information is available at: .