Public can comment on German fuel possibly coming to SRS

  • Posted: Monday, June 23, 2014 12:01 a.m.

The public is invited to give input on Tuesday on the possibility of German nuclear spent fuel landing at the Savannah River Site.

The public meeting, hosted by the Department of Energy, is based on the federal government’s proposal to accept, process and dispose of used nuclear fuel from Germany containing approximately 900-kilograms of highly-enriched uranium, or HEU.

The meeting will be held at the North Augusta Community Center, located at 495 Brookside Drive. It will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The Site recently surfaced as a potential location for the shipments of German fuel. If the deal goes through, DOE would install, in H-Canyon at SRS, a system capable of chemically removing the graphite from the fuel kernels using a technology being developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory.

In December 2012, the lab signed a $1.5 million Work for Others Agreement with the German entity currently managing the fuel, initiating the early development of the graphite digestion technology. However, the National Laboratory must first demonstrate the technology is viable during a pilot test before any decision is made on accepting the fuel.

In addition to the upcoming public meeting, DOE began a seven-week public comment period on June 4, during which people can submit comments via mail or email.

The public has until July 21 to submit comments.

Comments can be sent to: Andrew Grainger, NEPA Compliance Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, P.O. Box B, Aiken, South Carolina 29802.

Residents can also email comments to Grainger at drew.grainger@srs.gov.

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University.

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