CTF Correspondence

In carrying out its mission, the West Valley Citizen Task Force has sent letters, comments, and resolutions to DOE, NYSERDA, regulatory agencies, elected officials and others. The Citizen Task Force has also received communications from many of these entities. Below in reverse chronological order are brief summaries of the key elements of those communications and links to the underlying documents. Please note that not all correspondence is available and some, such as letters of thanks for service on the CTF, are not posted on the website.

To view the summary, click on the shaded area with the date and letter description, to close the summary click on the same area again. To view the underlying document, click on the PDF Link to open it in a new window. When a reply is available, a link to that document is also with the summary. Please note that in some instances the reply was received some time later. Generally, when a letter was handed out at a meeting some years later as a reminder those letters are not repeated at the later date. Not included here are letters and other correspondence where the CTF is a courtesy recipient. Please refer to the Glossary for help with acronyms.


Links to Correspondence by Year

2017201620152014201320132012201120102009200820072006200520042002-20032000-20011998-1999


Correspondence 2017

February 6, 2017 letters on funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project & DOE May 2, 2017 Reply

Back to Top

Correspondence 2016

March 16, 2016 letters on funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project March 11, 2016 letter from Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
Letter (PDF)

The letter supports prioritizing funding for the West Valley Demonstration project at the level of $75 million for Fiscal Year 2017.

January 14, 2016 response letter from DOE & NYSERDA on incorporating climate change into WVDP decisionmaking

Letter (PDF)

The letter states that the Phase 1 Studies Erosion Working Group will compile and analyze available climate and hydrological data and incorporate it into the modeling process and the Probabilistic Performance Assessment (PPA) will also address the effects of future climate change in the PPA as part of the preparation of the Supplemental EIS.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2015

July 27, 2015 Cover Letter and Memo on Incorporating Climate Change Considerations in Decisionmaking

Cover Letter (PDF)         Memo (PDF)

The cover letter and memo express concern that erosion is a crucial factor in ongoing cleanup decisions and that with increased storm events the site is vulnerable to severe erosion that could lead to the release of wastes. It notes that climate change is being incorporated into planning in other areas at the local, state and federal level and encourages DOE and NYSERDA to include it in planning the future of the site.

July 23, 2015 CTF Comments to NRC on Proposed changes to 10 CFR 61

Comment Letter (PDF)

The letter notes the importance of clarifying regulations concerning disposal of low-level radioactive wastes and expresses concerns that the proposed revisions make fundamental changes that would create too much flexibility and make the regulations less protective.

April20, 2015 Letters advocating for FY 2017 WVDP funding

The letters note the annual funding levels of $75 million anticipated in the ROD for the Phase 1 Decommissioning work have never been achieved resulting in delays in increased costs. The letters request FY funding at the $75 million level. Several of the letters note what work could be accomplished or accelerated with appropriate funding.

Letter to President Obama   Letter to DOE Secretary Moniz and OMB Director Donovan   Reply from Director Donovan

Letter to Senator Schumer     Letter to Senator Gillibrand    Letter to Congressman Reed and Higgins

Letter to DOE Assistant Secretaries Whitney & Regalbuto

Back to Top

Correspondence 2014

March 26 CTF Letter to House Appropriations Committee Leadership

Letter (PDF)

The follow-up on the January 2014 letter requesting funding and reiterates that lower funding levels will increase costs to taxpayers in the long-term and delay cleanup activities.

Municipal and County Funding Resolutions

April 11, 2014 Town of Persia Resolution (PDF)

March 20, 2014 Erie County Resolution (PDF)

March 25, 2014 Town of Ashford Resolution (PDF)

March 26, 2014 Cattaraugus County Resolution (PDF)

Each of the resolutions requests funding at the $75 million level as anticipated in the Phased Decisionmaking Alternative.

January 22, 2014 CTF Letters Advocating for Funding

Letter to DOE (PDF)     Letter to Western New York Congressional Delegation (PDF)

Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee (PDF)    Letter to House Appropriations Committee (PDF)

Each of the letters advocates for funding of the West Valley Demonstration Project. The letters note how funds have been used effectively in the past and the impact of reduced funding in increased costs and longer time to completion.

January 14, 2014 CTF Comment Letter to DOE & NYSERDA onPhase 1 Exhumation Studies Working Group Recommendations

Comment Letter (PDF)

The comment letter notes that the proposed studies appear to be generally useful. It recommends that: Study 1 waste inventory analysis needs to engage a more comprehensive meta-analysis os existing waste characterization. Study 2 of methods to address inventory uncertainty should include application od statistical techniques to existing analysis of the SDA and NDA. The review of precedent projects in Study 3 is deemed too narrow.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2013

July 17, 2013 Letter of Appreciation to Congressmen Reed and Higgins

Letter (PDF)

The letter thanks the congressmen for their efforts in restoring funding the the DOE Environmental Management account.

April 16 Letters of thanks to DOE, Congressman Reed and Congressional staff

Letter to Congressman Reed (PDF)

Letter to David Huizenga, DOE Senior Advisor Environmental Management (PDF)

Letter to House Appropriation Subcommittee staff (PDF)

The letters to Mr. Huizenga and Congressman Reed express appreciation for their taking the time to meet with a delegation of CTF members on a visit to Washington DC on March 27. The letters notes that short-term savings will increase long-term costs, that work at the site and been responsible and timely, benefited the rest of the DOE complex, and that the risks associated with remaining wastes remain and could have a global impact.

The letter to Congressman Reed thanks him for arranging the meeting with Appropriations staff and for accompanying the group to meet with DOE senior leadership.

March 7, 2013 Erie County Resolution on WVDP Funding

Resolution (PDF)

Resolution of the Erie County Legislature requesting restoration of funding levels to $75 million annually at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

February West Valley Central School Resolution on Funding

Resolution (PDF)

The resolution and cover letter advocates for funding of the West Valley Demonstration Project and notes the financial impact of the site’s tax exempt lands.

February 10, 2013 Letter to DOE Re Programmatic EA-1919 on Recycle Scrap Metal

Letter (PDF)

The Letter from the CTF to DOE NNSA comments on the programmatic Environmental Assessment. The key points made include: lack of clarity on release criteria with respect to dose conversion and dose limitations for waste streams from a site.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2012

November 28, 2012 Cattaraugus County Resolution

Resolution (PDF)

The Citizen Task Force is copied on the resolution which requests that the federal government restore and stabilize funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project.

November 8 2012 Letter to DOE Environmental Management on Funding WVDP

Link to Letter to DOE (PDF)

The letter expresses concerns about reductions in funding and the consequent delay and cost increases associated with lower levels of funding.

September 7, 2012 CTF Comment Letter on Phase 1 Erosion Working Group Recommendations and October 15 Agency Reply
Link to CTF Letter (PDF)

Link to Agency Acknowledgment (PDF)

The CTF letter supports the four studies recommended by the working group. The agency reply acknowledges receipt and their commitment to meaningful stakeholder input. A later review by the Independent Scientific Panel commented on the recommendations (link to comments).

August 13, 2012 CTF Comment Letter to DOE on Waste Incidental to Reprocessing Draft Evaluation for Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank/Hold Tank

Link to Letter (PDF)

The comments reiterate concerns expressed to NRC in 2006 by the CTF concerning reclassification of Waste Incidental to Reprocessing (WIR) and concerns expressed to DOE in 2011 about WIR determinations setting precedent for other wastes at the site.

July 21, 2012 CTF Letter of Thanks for Funding to Congressmen Reed & Higgins and Letter to Schumer & Gillbrand Encouraging Funding Amendment
Link to Letter to Reed & Higgins (PDF)

Link to Letter to Schumer & Gillibrand (PDF)

The letter to Congressmen Reed and Higgins thanks them for their bi-partisan support in introducing an amendment to transfer funds to the non-defense environmental cleanup fund which supports the West Valley project.

The letter to Senators Schumer and Gillbrand encourages them to introduce a parallel amendment in the senate.

May 4, 2012: CTF Letter to Congressional Delegation Re Adequate Funding for WVDP
Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Higgins, Congressman Reed, and Congresswoman Hochul advocates for full funding for WVDP. It notes the history of the CTF and that the request for adequate funding has to be made with each budget cycle and the need for sustained commitment to complete the work and maintain the necessary skilled jobs in the community. The letter details the impacts of in adequate funding in delaying work and ultimately increasing costs. It requests at least $75 million per year in funding to accomplish the Phase 1 work.

January 24 Letters from Town of Ashford to Nuclear Services Administration and Congressman Higgins

Link to Letters (PDF)

The letter to Nuclear Services Administration concerning adding the site to the Asset Revitalization Program to encourage economic development in the town. The letter to Congressman Higgins seeks assistance in the opportunity to compete in the program.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2011

April 7, 2011 CTF Letters to Congressional Delegation Re WVDP Funding

Link to Letter to Senator Schumer (PDF)

Link to Letter to Senator Gillibrand (PDF)

Link to Letter to Congressman Reed (PDF)

Link to Letter to Congressman Higgins (PDF)

The letters note the CTF’s advocacy for full cleanup under the WVDP Act, the 2010 Record of Decision and Findings Statement, Consent Decree and Phase 1 work. It highlights that reduced funding will result in both delays and ultimately increased costs. The letters conclude by asking each legislator to advocate for an additional $20 million in FY 2012 and $80 million per year through 2016.

May 6, 2011 CTF Comments to DOE on Draft WIR Evaluation for WVDP Melter

Link to Comment Letter (PDF)

The letter notes the CTF’s continuing advocacy for a full site cleanup and that the group believes the WVDP Act contains the appropriate definition of wastes. It then expresses concern that the proposed WIR determination sets a precedent for other wastes at the site, in particular because such determinations could be made without an appropriate level of public input. The letter attaches and cites previous CTF comments on this issue and poses questions relating to the legal basis for the decision and the basis for the definition or classification of waste based on the location where than material is contained.

May 6, 2011 CTF Comments on Greater-Than-Class C Low-Level Radioactive Waste EIS

Link to Comment Letter (PDF)

The Comments note the CTF commitment to a complete deactivation and decommissioning of the West Valley site and belief that all wastes should be removed and the site be available for public use. The substantive comments state that cost should not be the driving factor in making a decision and that public safety, dose rate and long-term impact be weighed more heavily, and that all relevant studies be conducted prior to making a recommendation to Congress. Based on the data provided, the CTF expresses its strong support for Alternative 2, the WIPP Geologic Repository as the Preferred Alternative. It does express some concern about the transportation impacts for that alternative and encourages studies and the use of rail.

October 31, 2011 CTF Comments on Draft Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future

Link to Comment Letter (PDF)

The letter informs the Commission how WVDP is unique in that it is the only U.S. Commercial reprocessing plant ever to operate and notes that lessons should be drawn from this history which the comments review and the continuing concerns of the group relating to the site. The comments then request that the Commission: 1) Align its recommendations with the West Valley need for a high-level waste disposal pathway, 2) Chart a new path with West Valley as an example of full clean-up, 3) Not to segregate waste by origin, 4) Learn from West Valley and Highlight the high-level waste issue, and 5)Advocate for a full clean-up at West Valley.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2010

May 26, 2010 CTF Resolution Concerning Funding & August 11 DOE Response

Link to Resolution (PDF)

Link to Resolution Cover Letter to DOE (PDF)

Link to DOE Response to Letter and Resolution (PDF)

The resolution notes the recent DOE Record of Decision and New York Findings Statement, the potential damages from uncontrolled releases, the CTF 1998 Final Report, and a number of others calling for cleanup. It then sets out the estimated cost for Phase 1 work and the necessary studies and calls for adequate funding for the studies to be conducted and for the Phase 1 work.

November 10, 2010 CTF Letter to DOE Environmental Management Re WVDP Funding

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter notes the progress at WVDP in recent years, including the cooperation established by the multi-agency Core Team, the resolution of the litigation and the filing of the Record of Decision and New York Findings Statement. It then expresses consent about proposed funding for the work in the Phase 1 Facilities Decommissioning contract. It notes the trend of budget cuts and delays and loss of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The letter discusses the impact of lower funding and requests that the DOE Environmental Management budget allocate full funding to WVDP.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2009

January 22, 2009 NRC & DOE Reply Letters Re CTF November 19, 2008 Decommissioning Plan Letter

Link to DOE Letter (PDF)

Link to NRC Letter (PDF)

These letters respond to a letter sent by the CTF on November 19, 2008. To view that letter, please see the 2008 Correspondence below.

The DOE letter to the CTF welcomes input from the CTF and states that DOE believes the issuance of the Decommissioning Plan (DP) concurrently with the DEIS will enhance the public’s ability to view information in both documents. Because the DP does not use alternative criteria or request exemptions from the License Termination Rule set by NRC as the decommissioning criteria there are no formal requirements for public comment. It also notes that all meetings with NRC on the DP are open public meetings. The letter notes the dates of the meetings held and future opportunities for input or updates.

The NRC letter notes than the NRC review of the DP is mandated to be an informal process that cannot include formal procedures or actions by NRC such as soliciting and responding to comments. The letter notes NRC will review and respond to comments from CTF and others and may include it in Requests for Additional Information from DOE. It also notes that meetings have been open to the public.

February 4, 2009 Letter to Congressional Delegation Re Funding

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter request that the delegation include $100 million for WVDP in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan appropriations. It also details the needs and issues of the site.

March 18, 2009 Letter to CTF from Seneca Nation of Indians Re Draft EIS

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter from Seneca Nation of Indians, and CTF member, Tony Memmo identifies the themes of the concerns relating to the DEIS: site wide removal, work in progress/work progression, and alternative solutions. It suggests that there is general agreement of stakeholders on this issue and to work together during the comment period.

March 25, 2009 CTF Comments to NRC on Phase 1 Decommissioning Plan

Link to Comment Letter (PDF)

Link to NRC Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (PDF)

The letter expresses appreciation for the opportunity to comment on the Phase 1 Decommissioning Plan (DP) and notes that the comments will be addressed in the Commission’s Request for Additional Information from DOE. The letter raises a number of specific comments including:

  • Need to label and clearly state the DP as interim because it addresses only Phase 1.
  • That it is inappropriate for a Phase 1 DP to evolve into a Phase 2 DP and the requirement of public notification and public participation.
  • That it cannot yet be determined if Phase 1 and 2 DPs will meet the requirements for unrestricted release and, if it does not, the Phase 1 DP would be deficient because it will not have met this requirement. It further notes that unrestricted release is dependent on DOE’s underlying assumptions which could prove to be invalid.
  • Criticism that the Phase 1 DP relies on deterministic risk assessment rather than probabilistic risk assessment and has deficient analysis with respect to such things as erosion.
March 25, 2009 CTF Press Release and Oral Comments on DEIS

Link to Press Release (PDF)

The Press Release reviews the history of the CTF’s involvement at WVDP, expresses appreciation for progress to date and the work of the Core Team in overcoming differences, and the planned work to clean up the removal of the source of the North Plateau Groundwater Plume and a number of contaminated facilities. It supports the Phase 1 work and notes that it meets the Policies and Priorities set out in the CTF 1998 Final Report. The letter also states that the decisions and studies in Phase 1 should be performed to support the goal of full cleanup. In conclusion it notes the importance of ongoing consideration of the views of the public and that detailed comments will be forthcoming from the CTF.

May 27, 2009 CTF Comments to DOE on the Revised Draft EIS for Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship

Link to Comments (CTF)

The letters provides detailed comments on the November 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship. It notes the CTF support for Phase 1 activities and the full site-wide removal alternative. It also insists that a supplemental EIS be done for any Phase 2 decision if the phased decision making Preferred Alternative is selected.

The letter reviews the history of the CTF involvement then offers general comments on: concerns with phased decision making and future public engagement; long term risks and site suitability; need for studies and evaluations to support Phase 2 decisions; and some miscellaneous concerns. Attached to the letter are detailed comments relating to specific chapters, sections, paragraphs and lines of the DEIS and a copy of the 1998 CTF Final Report.

October 28, 2009 CTF Letter to Congressman Massa & Related Correspondence

Link to Letter (PDF)

Link to Letters from Congressman Massa to DOE & NYSERDA (PDF)

Link to NYSERDA to Congressman Massa (PDF)

Link to DOE Response to Congressman Massa (PDF)

The letter follows up from a meeting between the Congressman and CTF member John Pfeffer with suggested language for a letter from the Congressman to DOE and NYSERDA about ensuring ongoing citizen input into the decisions at the WVDP and Western New York Nuclear Service Center.

December 4, 2009 CTF Letter to NY State Attorney General Re Proposed Consent Decree and June 29, 2010 Response

Link to Comments (PDF)

Link to NY Attorney General Response (PDF)

The letter comments on the draft consent decree and commends NYSERDA and DOE for working through their differences in arriving at the Consent Decree which resolved the allocation of financial responsibility for various waste management areas.

The letter suggests factual corrections and several comments noting issues which could lead to lack of clarity in implementation and notes the objects of some CTF members concerning the 50/50 allocation concerning the North Plateau Groundwater Plume.

The response summarizes the legal claims and settlement terms of the Consent Decree and then responds to the CTF comments and how they are addressed or not in the Consent Decree.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2008

February 15, 2008 NRC Response to CTF on Regulatory Authority with Respect to WVDP

Link to NRC Response (PDF) Please note that this response letter relates to correspondence between the CTF and NRC in March, July and November of 2007. That prior sequence of letters may be found with the 2007 Correspondence below.

The letter provides a detailed response to a previous CTF letter and disagrees with the CTF reading of legislation and Memorandum of Understanding with respect to NRC’s regulatory authority; interpretation of the License Termination Rule and Final Policy Statement; and the WVDP Act.

March 26, 2008 CTF Letter to Congressional Delegation RE WVDP Funding

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter asks that the delegation review and reconsider the DOE Environmental Management funding levels proposed for West Valley. It notes the progress made under recent funding levels and that the proposed 20% decrease for FY 2008 and editorial decreases in 2009 will cause delays and increase future costs. It highlights impacts and potential delays to the HLW Tank and Vault drying and mitigation of the Sr-90 groundwater plume and the Core Team efforts to prioritize these activities.

May 2, 2008 CTF Letter to DOE Office of Environmental Management Re Funding

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests that DOE fund WVDP at the $75 million level called for in the EM Five Year Plan Funding Profile in order to achieve the Interim End State by 2011. The CTF points out this would continue the positive trajectory of recent work.

November 19, 2008 CTF Letter to DOE Re Decommissioning Plan Community Involvement

Link to Letter (PDF)

DOE and NRC responded to this letter on January 22, 2009. Please see the 2009 Correspondence above for those letters.

The letter objects to the omission of community involvement and advice in preparing the Decommissioning Plan for WVDP. It notes that the EIS public participation should not supersede the Decommissioning Plan public involvement and creates gaps in communications with stakeholders. It also notes that the Decommissioning Plan has considerably more detail.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2007

March 28, 2007 CTF Memo to NRC - Preparation Questions for April 25, 2007 Meeting and July 19, 2007 NRC Response and November 28, 2007 CTF Follow-up Letter

Link to March CTF Memo (PDF)

Link to July NRC Response (PDF)

Link to November CTF Follow-up Letter (PDF) Please note that the NRC responded to this letter on February 15, 2008. That response may be found with the 2008 correspondence above.

The memo presents groups of questions about the NRC regulatory authority regarding WVDP and the North Plateau Groundwater Plume. The answer provides specific responses to each question. The follow-up letter states that the CTF believes that the NRC legal authority and legal obligations are greater than those indicated in the NRC response and details the CTF rationale for that conclusion.

August 22, 2007 Letter from WVNSCO Re NDA Cap

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter responds to questions raised at the July 25, 2007 CTF meeting about backfilling and the synthetic liner for the NDA cap potentially making it more difficult to detect waste locations in trenches. The response states that estimated radionuclide inventories and their locations have been identified and cites the documentary sources. It also states that the fill and liner will not jeopardize future underground detection techniques.

August 22, 2007 Letter to CTF Re Applicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act to the Core Team

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter responds to questions raised at the July 25, 2007 CTF meetings about the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) applicability to Core Team meetings. The letter summarizes the Core Team membership and function and states that FACA applies when non-federal persons participate in advisory committees or are utilized by federal agencies to provide advice. It describes the requirements and steps of a FACA committee and the exemptions. The Core Team process is not within FACA.

August 23, 2007 CTF Letter to Springville Journal

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter responds to an August 16, 2007 Springville Journal article about the North Plateau Groundwater Plume. The letter states that the article lacked balance and did not include the viewpoints of the state or CTF. It reviews the spread and possible future flow of the plume ultimately to the Great Lakes. It continues that the plume source should be addressed and dilution should not be the solution. The letter recaps contacts with NRC and ineffective attempts at mitigation treatment systems.

November 13, 2007 EPA Letter to CTF Following Up on September 26, 2007 Meeting

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter thanks the CTF for the opportunity to participate in the September meeting and clarifies how EPA’s perspective has changed since 2003. It refers to and attaches the Regulator’s Communication Plan which EPA views as the method to measure a preferred alternative under an EIS or remedial work prior to the selection of a preferred alternative. It cites the 2006 recommendation of EPA to have a clean closure of the north plateau and the ensuing dialogue and correspondence between EPA and DOE. It also notes the non-technical/policy challenges such as the lack of an ultimate repository for high-level waste, legal issues about what can be left on site, and finite clean-up budgets.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2006

March 1, 2006 Letter to DOE Ohio Field Office Re WVDP Project Utilization Management Plan (August 2005)

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests that DOE withdraw the Site Utilization Management Plan (SUMP) until the EIS is complete or explain why it does not bypass the EIS process. Within the letter and in an appendix are detailed comments on the SUMP.

March 2, 2006 Letters of Thanks Following Site Visits

Link to Letter (PDF)

Thank you letters as follow up to a CTF visit to the Fernald and Mounds sites.

July 17, 2006 Letter to US EPA on the WVDP Decommissioning EIS Preferred Alternative

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter to Region 2 Administrator Alan Steinberg references a Regulators Meeting and expresses appreciation for an EPA proposed Preferred Alternative for WVDP Decommissioning which would remove the High-Level Waste Tanks and Main Process Plant Building and remediate the source area of the North Plateau Groundwater Plume.

July 28, 2006 Comment Letter to WVDP Re Decontamination & Demolition Draft EA

Link to Letter (PDF)

The comments express concern that the Draft Decontamination & Demolition Environmental Assessment does not meet the requirements of NEPA and OSHA by allowing premature removal of buildings that could prejudice the outcome of the Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship EIS. The comments note that NYSERDA shares similar concerns.

July 28, 2006 Comments to NRC on Draft NUREG-1854

Link to Letter (PDF)

Comments to NRC on Draft NUREG-1854, Standard Review Plan for Activities Related to US DOE Waste Determinations.  The comments: disagree that WIR determinations apply to West Valley; note previous disapproval; note executive v. congressional powers; notes selective use of regulatory protections; note the need for a more thorough analysis regarding extreme weather events; and recognize that, despite the differences, the draft report generally contains a good set of review criteria. The comment letter includes an attachment with detailed comments.

September 25, 2006 E-mail from NYSERDA to CTF Re NYSERDA's Consideration of Terminating Participation in Joint EIS

Link to E-mail (PDF)

E-mail from NYSERDA to CTF in response to CTF concerns at recent meeting that NYSERDA was considering terminating role as a joint lead agency with DOE in the Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship EIS. The e-mail explains why NYSERDA staff was recommending the position, which was tabled by the NYSERDA Board, and stating more vetting was required and offering to discuss the issue at the next CTF meeting. The e-mail cites the need for lessons from the draft EIS, flawed analyses, bias against tank exhumation, expenditure of public funds, and DOE ability to continue with EIS.

September 27, 2006 Memo from NYSERDA to CTF Re Plutonium in SDA

Link to Memo (PDF)

The memo responds to an observer question from the CTF meeting and states that calculations estimate approximately 11.1 pounds of plutonium were disposed of in the State-Licensed Disposal Area. The memo includes a spreadsheet showing the types of plutonium and the trenches in which it is located.

November 27, 2006 NRCInvitation Letter to Ray Vaughan Re Participation in Commission Meeting December 11, 2006 and Statement and Presentation by Ray Vaughan to NRC on behalf of the CTF

Link to Letter (PDF)

Link to Vaughan Statement to NRC (PDF)

Link to Vaughan Presentation to NRC (PDF)

The letter invites CTF member Ray Vaughan to participate in a Commission meeting on the status of decommissioning activities.

The statement by Ray Vaughan addresses the site, NRC dual role, the relationships issues of DOE and NYSERDA, and commends NRC for its attention and asks the agency to consider certain steps needed for safe closure. Mr. Vaughan notes that the site is susceptible to erosion. The CTF also offers specific comments and concerns about NRC’s role in decommissioning. The major points concern: 1) should DOE and NYSERDA decommissioning plans be sequential or concurrent, 2) evaluation or erosion and radiological impacts, 3) distinction between decommissioning and disposal, 4) NRC should not authorize or condone reclassification (e.g., WIR) if contrary to law, and 5) Sr-90 contaminated groundwater plume.

October 30, 2006 CTF letter to DOE & NYSERDA Re Relationship Between the Agencies and December 5, 2006 DOE Replies to Vaughan and Lambert

Link to Letter (PDF)

Link to Reply to Vaughan (PDF)

Link to Reply to Lambert (PDF)

The letter expresses the CTF concern a bout the deteriorating relationship between the agencies and asks them to step back from confrontation and focus on “what needs to be done to remediate…the site.” The letter notes areas of disagreement and states that NYSERDA withdrawing from the EIS would not be responsible. It reminds the agencies of the CTF 1998 Final Report and makes four detailed recommendations: 1) focus first on what needs to be done then on responsibility, 2) NYSERDA should lead by example with a closure plan for the SDA, 3) DOE should not narrowly interpret its role under federal law, and 4) DOE should adopt the EPA recommendations regarding the North Plateau cleanup.

The reply letters thanks the CTF for its perspective and states that the best way to manage complexity and viewpoints is to ensure cleanup decisions are based on technical analysis. The letters also note that the Core Team process has been instituted to try to collaborative reach agreement of technical issues.

December 22, 2006 CTF Letter to NRC Re North Plateau Sr-90 Groundwater Plume and February 8, 2007 NRC Response

Link to Letter (PDF)

Link to NRC Response (PDF)

The CTF letter expresses concern about the spread of the radioactive Strontium-90 plume on the North Plateau and the lack of any Federal initiative to actively address the source. It notes the limited impact of the pump and treat system and the ineffectiveness of the pilot permeable treatment wall. NRC monitoring reports no risk at that time but the CTF questions whether risk will occur in the near future if the spread is unchecked. It concludes by urging NRC to compe DOE to begin to develop a plan to remediate the course of the plume.

The NRC response states that the NRC role is consultative under the WVDP Act and related Memorandum of Understanding and that NRC does not hold any regulatory authority. It also states that NRC believes appropriate steps were currently being taken to protect public health and safety regarding the Sr-90. It also states that the plume has been identified as one of the technical issues being addressed by the Core Team process and that NRC will assess plume impacts in its periodic monitoring visits.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2005

Supporting Resolutions received as of April 6, 2005

Link to Supporting Resolutions (PDF)

Compilation of resolutions from municipalities and school districts in support of the CTF January 2004 Resolution on End State Vision.

April 12, 2005 Letter to Environmental Groups Re Draft Legislation

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter expresses appreciation for the concern and input of four environmental organizations on draft legislation concerning the Western New York Nuclear Service Center and informs them on the process for presenting to the CTF.

May 5, 2005 Comment Letter to Southern Tier West on Future Site Use Draft Report

Link to Comments (PDF)

The comments concerning the Southern Tier West Study of draft report on future site use about assumptions in the report primarily concerning site cleanup, underlying data, and editing.

July 29, 2005 Letter to Senators Schumer and Clinton Re H.R. 1301

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests that the Senators expedite companion legislation to H.R. 1301 which would authorize DOE to complete the remediation of the site and dispose of stored wastes. It notes the level of support from the Western New York congressional delegation and local constituencies.

October 13, 2005 Letter to Southern Tier West Final Report on Redevelopment of WNYNSC

Link to Comments (PDF)

The letter comments generally on the draft report on “Redevelopment of the Nuclear Service Center Site.” It makes point concerning: the CTF’s desire for a full cleanup; the need for recreation as a potential option; the concern that certain recommended uses not preclude other future uses.  The comments also address specific issues including: the status of future cleanup; site maps and descriptions; clarity of some statements; project facilities; the business, labor, economic, tourism recommendations; assumptions about the final end-state; among other items.

November 14, 2005 Letter to Governor Pataki on WVDP Budget

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter thanks Governor Pataki for writing DOE Environmental Management requesting $95 million for WVDP.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2004

January 26, 2004 Letter to Congressman Houghton Requesting a Meeting

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests a meeting with Congressman Houghton and other members of the Western NY congressional delegation to discuss cooperative steps to ensure continued progress in the cleanup of WVDP. The CTF expresses disagreement with agency proposed end states; the impasse over scope of the cleanup, HLW disposal fees and long-term stewardship responsibility; attempts to redefine WIR; and budget levels and possible reductions in workforce at the site.

March 11, 2004 Letter to DOE-WDP Objecting to the Scope of Work

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter objects to the Scope of Work in that it assumes a possible hand-off of the site in 2008 to New York without yet having a Record of Decision. There are a number of specific objections to language in the Scope which are listed in the letter.

December 29, 2004 Letters to Municipalities

Link to Letters (PDF)

The letters follow up on 357 letters sent in June 2004 (not available) from the CTF to municipalities requesting support for a resolution passed by the CTF supporting unrestricted release of the site.

December 30, 2004 Letters of Appreciation to Congressmen Houghton and Quinn

Link to Letter (PDF) to Representative Houghton
Link to Letter (PDF) to Representative Quinn

Letters wish Congressman Houghton and Congressmen Quinn well in retirement and express appreciation for their time and attention in understanding and helping on West Valley.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2002-2003

September 26, 2003 Letter to DOE Re Risk-Based End States

Link to Letter (PDF)

Letter expressing concerns to DOE Office of Long-Term Stewardship on Use of Risk-Based End States (RBES) as a possible attempt to implement CERCLA policy at WVDP because RBES might reopen an EIS-supported Record of Decision.  The letter discusses the issue in light of land use planning, definitions of terms, risk, changes of regulatory frameworks, waste incidental to reprocessing, institutional controls and cost.

September 18, 2003 Letter to Speaker Hastert Re Legislation Proposed by DOE

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter to Speaker Hastert expresses concern that proposed DOE legislative amendments would undermine existing legislation intended to protect the future health and safety of citizens living near highly contaminated radioactive waste sites. The concern is primarily around the definition of Waste Incidental to Reprocessing which if changed might allow wastes, such as that in the High-Level Waste tanks, to remain on-site.

June 30, 2003 Letter to WVDP NEPA Compliance Officer on Waste Management EIS

Link to Letter (PDF)

Letter expresses concern about splitting of the EIS for West Valley and hoping the Waste Management EIS does not distract from the Decommissioning EIS. The letter also disagrees with Alternative B in which the High-Level Waste tanks would be grouted because this action could prejudice choices for decommissioning and make future removal more difficult. The letter also expresses concerns about using interim storage at other sites because of risks, costs and controversy associated with more shipments.

May 28, 2003 Letter to Congresswoman Slaughter Requesting Co-Sponsorship of HR 576

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests that Congresswoman Slaughter co-cponsor H.R. 576, introduced by Congressman Houghton, which would potentially resolve differences between DOE and NYSERDA about respective responsibilities at the WVDP.

March 27, 2003 Letter to Congressman Houghton

Link to Letter (PDF)

Letter expresses appreciation for introducing HR 576 which would potentially resolve differences between DOE and NYSERDA about respective responsibilities at the WVDP. Supporting original bill and requesting meeting.

April 26, 2002 Letter to Assistant Secretary of DOE for Environmental Management on the Accelerated Cleanup Plan

Link to Letter (PDF)

Letter expresses reservations about the DOE accelerated cleanup plan and lack of comment opportunity. It also expresses concerns about the site contractor and a contract extension.

April 26, 2002 Letter to Secretary of DOE

Link to Letter (PDF)

Follow up letter from CTF after visit of six members to Washington, D.C.where they met with members of the Western NY Congressional Delegation (2 Senators and 3 Congressmen) and DOE. The letter expresses disappointment at the level of attention from DOE given who was in attendance at the meetings.

April 17, 2002 Letter to NRC Re Disagreements with Final Policy Statement Establishing Decommissioning Criteria for WVDP

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter notes previous general agreement with the NRC application of the License Termination Rule (LTR) as the decommissioning criteria for WVDP and notes that numerous specific objections had been raised by the CTF. It notes disappointment that the Final Policy Statement 1) allows a two-step process where DOE may select a preferred alternative prior to prescription of decommissioning criteria; 2) allows possible classification of HLW as waste incidental to reprocessing; and 3) allows the DOE to depart from the LTR if a particular alternative is considered technically infeasible or prohibitively costly.

Back to Top

Correspondence 2000-2001

December 3, 2001 Invitation Letters to Participate on Future Site Use Work Group June 6, 2001 Letter to DOE and NYSERDA Re WVDP Budget Cut

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter expresses frustration with the breakdown in negotiations between DOE and NYSERDA on respective responsibilities for decommissioning and decontamination.

January 5, 2000 Statement Letter to NRC Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards Re Draft Policy Statement - LTR as the Decommissioning Criteria for West Valley

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter expresses appreciation for the process used to arrive at the proposed application of the LTR as the decommissioning criteria for West Valley, especially in that it applies uniform criteria for West Valley as other sites around the country. Additional comments on the Draft Policy Statement include:

  • All sources at the site (e.g., SDA) must be considered in the aggregate when applying the LTR.
  • Avoid use of “prescribe” to avoid conflict with language in the West Valley Demonstration Project Act.
  • Avoid paraphrasing the LTR so as to maintain a single standard.
  • Requested clarification of “institutional controls.”
  • Use of a longer time period for estimating future doses. Rechecking of institutional controls at least every 5 years, avoiding undue reliance on governmental guarantees or continuation or financing.
  • Desire that WIR not be applied to West Valley and importance of using ALARA principles.

Back to Top

Correspondence 1998-1999

March 29, 1999 Letter to NRC re Commission Papers SECY-98-251 & SECY-99-057 Decommissioning Criteria for West Valley

Link to Letter (PDF)

The letter requests that NRC adopted the LTR as the decontamination and decommissioning criteria for West Valley prior to the selection of a preferred alternative

December 22, 1998 Public Briefing Comments to NRC re Commission Paper SECY-98-251 Decommissioning Criteria for West Valley

Link to comments (PDF)

Comments on NRC proposed decommissioning criteria for WVDP. The letter thanks NRC and addresses:

  • Internal lack of clarity in Paper SECY 98-251 concerning decommissioning criteria and relationship of the issuance of decontamination and decommissioning criteria to a new draft or final EIS.
  • NRC License Termination Rule and institutional controls and possible deviation from the standard.
  • Preference for establishing standards sooner rather than later and not allowing flexible criteria which could permit an early DOE departure from the site.
  • Concerns with extended institutional controls and potential reclassification of HLW as WIR.

Back to Top

Upcoming meeting information

The next scheduled meeting of the Citizen Task Force is for September 27, 2017.

For meeting information please visit: http://westvalleyctf.org/meeting-information/

For more information

on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, please contact:

Bill Logue, Facilitator
West Valley Citizen Task Force
c/o The Logue Group
PO Box 270270
West Hartford, CT 06127-0270

Phone: 860.521.9122

Bill@LogueGroup.com