June 1, 2005
The Honorable A. J. Eggenberger
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
625 Indiana Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20004-2901
Dear Dr. Eggenberger:
This is in response to the November 7, 2003, letter from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) regarding the retrieval, storage, and disposal of the Hanford waste drums containing Pu-238. The initial response from the Department of Energy on February 3, 2004, provided historical data, challenges faced, and activities being done to provide a plan to safely retrieve and disposition the Pu-238 drums. A follow-up letter was sent on May 25, 2004, with a description of the processing paths and remaining actions and a commitment to continue to update the Board.
The plan for the Hanford Pu-238 drums is outlined in the enclosure. This plan provides a path that will minimize radiation exposure to workers, uses already existing processes with personnel already experienced in handling Pu-238, and requires little to no changes to existing regulatory documents.
If you have any further questions, please call me at (202) 586-7709 or Ms. Patrice M. Bubar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Integrated Safety Management and Operations Oversight, at (202) 586-5151.
Charles E. Anderson
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Environmental Management