Some radioactive Savannah River Site waste headed to Texas

FILE - In this Nov., 20, 2013, file photo, radioactive waste, sealed in large stainless steel canisters, are stored under five-feet of concrete in a storage building at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C. The federal government is arguing that it has already promised no more weapons-grade plutonium will be sent to Nevada, and the state lacks standing to seek a court order to force the Energy Department to remove it. Documents filed late Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 in U.S. District Court in Reno brand as "conjectural" or "hypothetical" state complaints that residents are harmed by radiation from material secretly trucked a year ago from South Carolina to Nevada. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AIKEN, S.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy is planning to send a few gallons of radioactive wastewater from a South Carolina nuclear reservation to Texas, where it will be treated and disposed.

The Aiken Standard reports the upcoming move will expedite the cleanup of nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site operated by the Department of Energy. The transfer follows an Energy Department decision to re-interpret the definition of “high-level radioactive waste."

Approximately eight gallons of the wastewater, the byproduct of normal operations at the Defense Waste Processing Facility, will be collected over two weeks and then shipped to a western Texas facility in several batches. The waste is currently stored in an underground tank at the Savannah River site.

According to the Aiken Standard, government documents state the retrieval, movement, treatment and disposal of the waste poses minimal risks to human and environmental health.