Notice of Availability of the Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of the Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SPD Supplemental EIS; DOE/EIS-0283-S2) for public comment. DOE also is announcing the dates, times and locations for public hearings to receive comments on the Draft SPD Supplemental EIS. The Draft SPD Supplemental EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for disposition of 13.1 metric tons (14.4 tons) of surplus plutonium for which DOE has not made a disposition decision, including 7.1 metric tons (7.8 tons) of plutonium from pits that were declared excess to national defense needs. It also updates previous DOE NEPA analyses on plutonium disposition to consider additional options for pit disassembly and conversion, which entails processing plutonium metal components to produce an oxide form of plutonium suitable for disposition, and the use of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabricated from surplus plutonium in domestic commercial nuclear power reactors to generate electricity, including five reactors at two specific Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reactor plants. DOE is not revisiting the decision to fabricate 34 metric tons (MT) (37.5 tons) of surplus plutonium into MOX fuel in the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) (65 FR 1608, January 11, 2000 and 68 FR 20134, April 24, 2003), now under construction at DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, and to irradiate the MOX fuel in commercial nuclear reactors used to generate electricity. TVA is a cooperating agency on this SPD Supplemental EIS. TVA is considering the use of MOX fuel, produced as part of DOE's Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program, in its nuclear power reactors.