ANNOUNCEMENT – March 30, 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy/ National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) is announcing its decision for the disposition of certain quantities of surplus plutonium evaluated in the Final Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SPD Supplemental EIS) (DOE/EIS-0283-S2, April 2015). Among the potential actions considered in the Final SPD Supplemental EIS, DOE/NNSA analyzed the potential environmental impacts for the disposition of 13.1 metric tons (14.4 tons) of surplus plutonium for which a disposition path is not assigned, including 7.1 metric tons (7.8 tons) of plutonium from pits that were declared excess to national defense needs and 6 metric tons (6.6 tons) of surplus non-pit plutonium.
With regard to the 6 metric tons (6.6 tons) of surplus non-pit plutonium, DOE/NNSA’s has decided to prepare this plutonium for eventual disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
DOE/NNSA has made no decision and has no Preferred Alternative, at this time, for other potential actions considered in the Final SPD Supplemental EIS. Specifically, DOE/NNSA has no Preferred Alternative for the disposition of the remaining 7.1 MT of surplus plutonium from pits, nor does it have a Preferred Alternative among the pathways analyzed for providing the capability to disassemble surplus pits and convert the plutonium from pits to a form suitable for disposition. Consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, once a Preferred Alternative is identified, DOE will announce its preference in a Federal Register notice. DOE would publish a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 days after its announcement of a Preferred Alternative.