The U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Nevada environmental regulators have agreed to a settlement after classified low-level waste shipped west from the Y-12 National Security Complex allegedly violated waste acceptance criteria at the Nevada National Security Site northwest of Las Vegas, according to documents posted online.
The waste shipments from Y-12 received significant publicity in news stories in 2019 after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak demanded answers from the U.S. Department of Energy about what were described as unapproved waste shipments. The shipments were incorrectly labeled, according to a letter sent that summer to former Energy Secretary Rick Perry by Sisolak and U.S. senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen. Sisolak said he learned about the shipments from Y-12 to Nevada from Dan Brouillette, who was then deputy energy secretary.
Waste shipments from Y-12 were suspended that July. They remained suspended for almost two years. Shipments of low-level waste resumed in May this year, according to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Work continues to obtain approval to dispose of weapons-related material, the DNFSB said.
The settlement agreement, which was signed in June, addresses reimbursement and factual findings, and it includes, as an attachment, information about how the shipments from Y-12 allegedly violated waste acceptance criteria at NNSS.
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