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
Correspondence 2021September 27, 2021 Letter from NYSDEC to CTF re Radiological Performance Assessment Criteria for SDA
- September 27, 2021 Letter from NYSDEC to CTF re Radiological Performance Assessment Criteria for the State Licensed Disposal Area and including February 3, 2020 letter to NYSERDA on the criteria.
- July 6, 2021 letter from CTF to Western NY Congressional representatives and committees of cognizance requesting prompt action in identifying disposal destinations for transuranic waste from the WVDP as referenced in the Government Accountability Office report. Link to Letter
- January 21, 2021 Letter from Majority Leader Peoples Stokes to NYSERDA, NYSDOH and NYSDEC requesting consideration of real time reporting and enclosed demolition of Main Plant Process Building as expressed by umbrella group of environmental organizations. Link to Letter
Correspondence 2020DOE November 23, 2020 Letter to Ray Vaughan re clarification of NDA Inventory of Pu-239
- DOE Letter clarification re concerns expressed during October 2020 CTF meeting on 1996 Draft EIS NDA Radiological Inventory. Link to Letter
Correspondence 2019Ray Vaughan December 13 and 20, 2019 Letters to NYSDEC Re DOE water withdrawal permit
- Ray Vaughan December 13, 2019 Letter to NYSDEC Re DOE water withdrawal permit expressing concerns about lack of response to prior substantive comments. Link to Letter
- Ray Vaughan December 20, 2019 Letter to NYSDEC withdrawing objections to issuance of permit and noting continuing concerns about contradictions in hydrologic characterization. Link to Letter
- CTF copy recipient of May 5, 2019 letter from Dr. Vaughan to NYSERDA identifying several errors and omissions in the Conceptual Site Model developed by Neptune and Company for the Probabilistic Performance Assessment. Link to Letter
- CTF Letter to Appropriations Chair and ranking member and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urging support of West Valley Demonstration project Reauthorization Act and encouraging funding for the the site. Link to Letter
- CTF Letter thanking Congressman Reed for sponsorship of the Reauthorization Act. Link to Letter
- January 7, 2019 CTF Comments on DOE proposal to reinterpret “high-level radioactive waste” (HLW), as proposed in 83 FR 50909-11 Link to letter
- January 3, 2019 NYSERDA transmittal letter and comments DOE proposal to reinterpret “high-level radioactive waste” (HLW), as proposed in 83 FR 50909-11 Link to Letter and comments
Correspondence 2018May 21, 2018 CTF Comments on Scope of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)
- May 21, 2018 Comments on Scope of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Phase 2 of Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center Link to Letter
Correspondence 2017Town of Ashford Impact Aid Request September 12, 2017 & CTF October 25, 2017 Supporting Resolution
Each of the letters advocates for funding of the West Valley Demonstration Project.
Letter to Congressmen Reed, Higgins, Collins and House Appropriations (PDF)
Letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Senate Appropriations (PDF)
Letter to DOE Leadership re 2018 Funding (PDF)
Reply Letter of May 2, 2017 from DOE Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management
The letter responds to Congressman Reed’s letter in support of the NYSERDA comments on consent based siting and New York position on HLW disposition of WVDP waste as defense waste.
Correspondence 2016March 16, 2016 letters on funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project
Letters supporting funding sent to:
The letter supports prioritizing funding for the West Valley Demonstration project at the level of $75 million for Fiscal Year 2017.
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.
Correspondence 2015July 27, 2015 Cover Letter and Memo on Incorporating Climate Change Considerations in Decisionmaking
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.
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.
Correspondence 2014March 26 CTF Letter to House Appropriations Committee Leadership
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.
Each of the resolutions requests funding at the $75 million level as anticipated in the Phased Decisionmaking Alternative.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2013July 17, 2013 Letter of Appreciation to Congressmen Reed and Higgins
The letter thanks the congressmen for their efforts in restoring funding the the DOE Environmental Management account.
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.
Resolution of the Erie County Legislature requesting restoration of funding levels to $75 million annually at the West Valley Demonstration Project.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2012November 28, 2012 Cattaraugus County Resolution
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.
The letter expresses concerns about reductions in funding and the consequent delay and cost increases associated with lower levels of funding.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2011April 7, 2011 CTF Letters to Congressional Delegation Re WVDP Funding
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2010May 26, 2010 CTF Resolution Concerning Funding & August 11 DOE Response
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.
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.
Correspondence 2009January 22, 2009 NRC & DOE Reply Letters Re CTF November 19, 2008 Decommissioning Plan Letter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2008February 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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2007March 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2006March 1, 2006 Letter to DOE Ohio Field Office Re WVDP Project Utilization Management Plan (August 2005)
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.
Thank you letters as follow up to a CTF visit to the Fernald and Mounds sites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2005Supporting Resolutions received as of April 6, 2005
Compilation of resolutions from municipalities and school districts in support of the CTF January 2004 Resolution on End State Vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The letter thanks Governor Pataki for writing DOE Environmental Management requesting $95 million for WVDP.
Correspondence 2004January 26, 2004 Letter to Congressman Houghton Requesting a Meeting
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2002-2003September 26, 2003 Letter to DOE Re Risk-Based End States
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Correspondence 2000-2001December 3, 2001 Invitation Letters to Participate on Future Site Use Work Group
Four letters inviting participation on the Future Site Use Work Group. Sent to:
The letter expresses frustration with the breakdown in negotiations between DOE and NYSERDA on respective responsibilities for decommissioning and decontamination.
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.
Correspondence 1998-1999March 29, 1999 Letter to NRC re Commission Papers SECY-98-251 & SECY-99-057 Decommissioning Criteria for West Valley
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
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.