In the News

Below are articles and other news published since the last West Valley Citizen Task Force Meeting. They relate to the West Valley Demonstration Project, nuclear waste cleanup or are otherwise relevant or of potential interest to stakeholders interested in the Project. After each Citizen Task Force Meeting, these articles are compiled into a single document and may be found with the meeting materials for that month.

Ashford Board hears progress

Springville Journal — 2/16/23
Pfeffer updated the board on grants the town recently applied for. A $50,000 was awarded to the town for the West Valley Citizen Task Force to hire its own technical expert to look at things coming out of the probabilistic performance assessment. The board also applied for a grant for the American Legion to be used as a food bank, which the town did not get. Pfeffer said the town will look into applying for this grant again in the future. Read the full coverage here.

VIDEO: West Valley Experts Commend Employees for Ongoing Main Plant Demolition

EM Update — 2/14/23 Watch a new video featuring subject matter experts from EM and cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV) discussing the ongoing demolition of the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

Will waste be left underground at West Valley?

Salamanca Press — 1/26/23

For decades, the West Valley Citizens Task Force, environmental groups and area county and local governments have pressed for a full cleanup at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

The Seneca Nation has also called for a full cleanup at West Valley.

The 200‐acre WVDP in the town of Ashford was the site of the nation’s only commercial reprocessing plant for spent nuclear fuel, which operated from 1966 to 1972.

It was many years after the site was abandoned by Nuclear Fuel Services that the West Valley Demonstration Project Act of 1980 was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.

Many milestones have been met, such as solidifying 600,000 gallons of radioactive liquid waste and preparing the main plant process building for deconstruction, which is ongoing. That is expected to take up to 30 months.

But what of underground radioactive hazards — two very large steel tanks with radioactive residue inside and the New York State and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRD) Disposal Areas that sit on a plateau above a waterway that empties into Cattaraugus Creek, which in turn flows to Lake Erie?

Read the full article here.

Oklo Readying to Deploy Commercial-Scale Nuclear Fuel Recycling Facility

POWER Magazine — 1/25/23

Oklo has kicked off regulatory activities for a first‐of‐its‐kind nuclear fuel recycling facility that could produce commercial material from used light water reactor (LWR) fuel before the decade’s end.

The advanced nuclear technology firm in December submitted a licensing project plan (LPP) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its Fuel Recycling Technologies facility. The LPP essentially outlines the company’s plans for “preapplication engagement activities that support the future licensing of a first‐of‐a‐kind fuel recycling facility,” the company said on Jan. 25.

While Oklo did not publicly disclose where it plans to site the commercial pilot fuel facility and how much commercial material it could produce on a pilot scale, the company told POWER on Jan. 26 that the privately funded commercial-scale fuel recycling facility will produce a mixture of fissionable uranium and transuranic element isotopes. Oklo will use these materials to manufacture fuel for its fast reactors.

“Oklo will use an electrorefining‐based technology to recycle used nuclear fuel,” it said. “A critical way this process differs from the legacy reprocessing methods is that electrorefining keeps the major and minor actinide elements combined. For this reason, many refer to the electrorefining process as inherently ‘proliferation‐resistant.’”

Read the full article here.

WVDP promotes safety through the eyes of children with calendar

Olean Times Herald — 1/25/23 Workers and their families at the West Valley Demonstration Project again came together to help promote safety awareness all year long in a creative way.

The Department of Energy and CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV), its cleanup contractor at WVDP, recently produced the site’s annual Family Fun Safety Calendar. It features drawings created by WVDP employees’ children aged 12 and younger that depict general safety practices.

Read the full article here and a similar article in the Springville Journal here, or the Salamanca Press here.

Upcoming meeting information

The next CTF meeting will be on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ashford Office Complex, 9030 Route 219, West Valley
On-line webinar: Register here

For more information

on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, please contact:

Nancy Raca, Facilitator
West Valley Citizen Task Force
c/o Highland Planning