Barnwell Waste Disposal Site Shuts Door to Most States July 1

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said May 29 it has issued updated guidance to fuel cycle and materials licensees that they may need to store some low-level radioactive waste on site for an extended period after the Barnwell, S.C., disposal facility closes to most states on July 1. NRC sets safety requirements for the near-surface disposal of low-level waste, which is classified as Class A, B, or C depending on its hazard and physical characteristics, with about 96 percent of all commercial low-level waste generated in the United States being Class A, the least hazardous.

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act makes states responsible for disposing of low-level radioactive waste and created a system of interstate compacts to create and manage disposal facilities. Three low-level waste disposal facilities exist: a Clive, Utah, facility accepts only Class A waste from licensees in all states; a facility, near Richland, Wash., accepts all classes of low-level waste from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico; and Barnwell has accepted all types of waste from the rest of the country but as of July 1 will accept it from only South Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut because of shrinking capacity.

This means licensees in 36 states have no disposal options for Class B and C waste; about 95 percent of such wastes are generated by nuclear power plants, "which have the space, expertise and experience needed to store radioactive wastes for extended periods," according to NRC. The agency's guidance advises licensees to consider ways to minimize the production of Class B and Class C low-level wastes and whether they may need to seek a license amendment to increase their possession limit for radioactive materials as a result of the need to store waste on site. The guidance also addresses considerations such as security, worker safety, and the need to keep track of radioactive materials, including during emergencies, NRC said.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue