The United States Congress gave the Department of Energy responsibility for decontamination and decommissioning activities at West Valley in 1980 through the West Valley Demonstration Project Act (Public Law 96-368). DOE’s responsibilities at the Center under the WVDP Act include: 1) solidifying high level waste (HLW) at the Center; 2) developing containers suitable for the permanent disposal of the solidified HLW; 3) transporting the solidified waste to a Federal repository for permanent disposal; 4) disposing of low-level waste and transuranic waste produced by the solidification of the HLW, the facilities used in the solidification of waste, and any hardware and material used in connection with the project.
DOE took possession of approximately 200 acres of the Center in 1982 for purposes of conducting the West Valley Demonstration Project. To date, the HLW at the site has been solidified and placed in containers developed for the permanent disposal of the solidified HLW. The other activities required of the DOE under the WVDP are underway but not complete. Much of the previously generated low-level waste has been shipped off-site and the current focus is on shipping legacy waste, preparing the main processing plant for demolition, removing other facilities, covering the NRC licensed disposal area, drying the tank farm and mitigating the North Plateau Groundwater Plume.