In July of 1998 the West Valley Citizen Task Force concluded eighteen months of study and deliberations and issued a “Final Report.” Since the issuance of that report, the Task Force has met regularly to follow and provide input into the clean up of the site. These Guiding Principles are drawn from the Policies, Priorities and Guidelines articulated in the Final Report. We synthesize them here as a reminder to ourselves and others as the Phase 1 Decommissioning work is undertaken, Phase 1 studies are designed and conducted and the groundwork for the Phase 2 decision is laid. Please take the time to read the Final Report to gain further detail underling these Guiding Principles.
Guiding Principles Based On CTF Policies and Priorities From the 1998 Final Report
- Decisions concerning the cleanup will protect human health and the environment from all risks associated with the Center.
- Based on currently available information about rainfall, geology and seismology, the Site is not suitable for the long term, permanent storage or disposal of long-lived radionuclides. Its proximity to large populations and drinking water sources and nearby recreational and other uses make it unsuitable for long term storage of wastes.
- Although some wastes will remain at the Site for a prolonged period of time, all decisions regarding such wastes will be guided by the belief that the only appropriate, final action is for wastes to be removed from the Site. Solutions should not be chosen which makes retrieval significantly harder. Wastes that remain at the Site should be managed to ensure that contamination does not spread and that uncontaminated water, soils and other materials will be protected from contamination.
- All wastes that remain at the Site will be stored in such a manner to readily, safely and regularly determine if the materials are leaking or migrating and that they can be: retrieved if the containment system and/or packaging fails; if they are removed as part of a disposal plan; or they are threatened due to a gradual (slow erosion) or dramatic (earthquake or rapid erosion from a flood) reduction in the integrity of the containment or packaging system.
- Ultimately all wastes be excavated and placed in a structure where monitoring and retrieval for repackaging and recontainment, if necessary, will be relatively easy.
- Any structures built in or above the ground at the Site to contain wastes will be constructed to withstand severe natural events.
- Cost considerations will not be a primary factor the final decommissioning decision and the risks and costs associated with monitoring and cleanup of the Center will be borne in large part by our generation.
- The final decision should comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations and respect the rights and traditions of the Seneca Nation.
- The final decision should not rely upon manmade structures over a long period of time. The Center should be restored to alternative uses (such as educational, industrial, commercial or recreational uses) as much as is possible and as soon as possible.