Waste Control Specialists to begin storing waste from Tennessee companyby Ruth Campbell
Published: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:10 AM CDT
From Staff Reports
ANDREWS -- Waste Control Specialists LLC said Tuesday that it will begin storing low-level radioactive waste from Studsvik Inc., an Erwin, Tenn.-based waste processor.
Interim storage at WCS' facility in Andrews County of this thermally processed Class B and Class C low-level radioactive waste will greatly reduce the risk and administrative burden of generators when compared to the use of multiple storage facilities across the United States, a news release said.
"Studsvik provides a valuable national service because its process transforms the low-level radioactive waste into a safer form for storage and ultimate disposal. At the same time, Studsvik's processing reduces the volume of low-level radioactive waste by more than 80 percent, which allows for the efficient use of valuable landfill space," WCS President Rod Baltzer said. "WCS is proud to participate in this innovative program to increase the safety and to reduce the volume of low-level radioactive waste."
WCS has been processing and storing low-level radioactive waste at its Andrews County facility since 1997. Waste Control is still awaiting a permanent waste disposal license from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
While the interim storage of the Studsvik material is authorized under WCS' storage license, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission must approve any permanent disposal of the material [from outside the Compact (Vermont and Texas)] at the Compact waste disposal facility in Andrews, the release said.
"We have already notified members of the Compact Commission that we will begin interim storage of this waste on June 8, 2009," Baltzer said, adding the company has also notified the Compact Commission that once all conditions of its low-level disposal license are met, WCS will seek its authorization to permanently dispose of the waste in the Compact disposal site.
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WCS accepts waste from StudsvikJune 8, 2009 - 4:52PM
It was a "textbook perfect" transfer of a mixture of different types of waste taken from nuclear plants to the Waste Control Specialists' disposal site Monday in Andrews County, a company spokesman said.
It took about 40 seconds for a crane to transfer approximately 7,500 pounds of waste from a travel canister into a temporary storage container, Rickey Dailey said.
The 120 cubic feet of waste, which is classified as low-level radioactive waste, had been concentrated to the "thickness of a hockey puck" by Studsvik Inc., a Tennessee-based waste processor, Dailey said. Studsvik's process reduces the waste's volume by 80 percent.
The aboveground storage area has 25-inch thick walls made of reinforced concrete, he said. The waste is being stored there because low-level radioactive waste stored at the site that's outside of the Texas-Vermont compact needs permission from the compact commission.
Dailey said Waste Control has started the process of seeking permission to permanently dispose of the waste at its landfill.
"This is not the first time we have handled this type of material," he said.