Georgia WAND community organizers Natalie Herrington and Janie Scott will attend the November full board meeting of the Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) for the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex on Monday and Tuesday, November 13-14, 2017.
At this meeting, the group is set to vote for next year’s chair and vice-chair, as well as consider three recommendations from the Department of Energy. One recommendation is for the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) Additional Failed Equipment Storage to begin constructing storage facilities for equipment used in the DWPF. Another recommendation is for Glass Waste Storage Buildings. A final recommendation is for additional and steady government funding for Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) projects.
It’s important to note some details that can help put into perspective how the SRS operates; in reference to the DWPF Additional Failed Equipment Storage recommendation, the facility itself began radioactive operations in 1996 with the task of immobilizing “approximately 37+ million gallons of high-level radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks at the Savannah River Site (SRS),
” all under the implicit assumption that at another time in the future, the waste would be disposed of at a geologic repository. No agreement on a permanent repository exists and there is no alternative plan for the existing waste at SRS. (Therefore, there will continue to house the waste and contaminated equipment, further contaminating the area). In addition, SRS describes tritium as “a key component in national defense” and the SRNL as the “nation’s holder of tritium expertise.” SRS has and will continue to position itself as an integral part of our nations security and energy needs without taking into consideration the catastrophic human and environmental impacts or alternative energy sources.
Georgia WAND is concerned that tritium production at SRS has increased this fall and we will be asking CAB members to request information from DOE about the environmental impacts of these and other NNSA activities on the site. NNSA information is hard to get from DOE, from what we understand. however, since the CAB makes recommendations about the environmental management at the site, we are hopeful they can acquire and share information about environmental contamination due to NNSA activities.
The meeting is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1065 Stevens Creek Road Augusta, GA 30907 and are open to the public. Direct public participation is welcome.
The meetings are Monday starting at 1 p.m., then Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. Questions or if you’d like to join us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
(The Citizens Advisory Board, photo taken in 2016)