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Nevada Governor demands answers from U.S. Dept. of Energy on unapproved waste shipments

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 23, 2019
On July 3rd, Governor Steve Sisolak was contacted by Deputy Secretary Daniel Brouillette from the U.S. Department of Energy who informed the Governor that the DOE has been shipping to and disposing of unapproved low-level radioactive waste (LLW) from DOE’s Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, TN at the Nevada National Security Site.
Governor Steve Sisolak
America   Governor Steve Sisolak
The classified low-level waste from the Y-12 facility violated the NNSS Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC), which establishes the protocols for what type of low-level waste is suitable for disposal at the Site.

Following the notification from DOE, on July 5th, the Governor joined with Nevada Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen to send the attached letter to DOE Secretary Rick Perry expressing Nevada’s concerns regarding these unauthorized waste shipments and demanding answers from the Department to ensure the safety of Nevada’s citizens and our environment; and insisting the Department take immediate action to correct the disposal of this waste at NNSS; and to establish new procedures at the NNSS and throughout the DOE Complex to ensure such egregious missteps do not occur again.

As an initial response to the Governor’s letter, senior officials briefed the Governor on Tuesday July 9th on the Department’s preliminary findings and proposed response.

The briefing was led by the senior official at DOE’s Nevada Field Office, Mr. Steven Lawrence, Ms. Theresa Robbins, Deputy Manager, Y-12 Field Office, and by the head of DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, Mrs. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty.

During the briefing, which included both a classified discussion for the Governor and an unclassified briefing for the Governor and staff, the Governor strongly reiterated his serious concern with the Department jeopardizing Nevada’s health and safety and once again breaching the trust of Nevadans who have sacrificed greatly in support of our national security.

The Governor will be joining with our federal delegation to hold DOE accountable for their actions and be vigilant in ensuring the Department take action to prevent such transgressions from happening again.


 

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