05:42 AM ET 12/10/99
  Radioactive Waste Sites Proposed
  Associated Press Writer

       SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ The Energy Department plans to designate Washington's 
Hanford nuclear reservation and the Nevada Test Site as primary permanent disposal 
sites for low-level and mixed low-level radioactive wastes.

The decision, which the Energy Department planned to announce today, would not be 
final for another month.

The designations would make formal a situation that has existed for several years, 
said Guy Schein, an Energy Department spokesman at Hanford.

Both the Hanford site in south-central Washington and the Nevada facility 65 miles 
north of Las Vegas already dispose of low-level and mixed low-level wastes generated 
on-site or shipped from other Energy Department operations. Those wastes typically 
include such items as old lab equipment, used protective clothing and contaminated 

``This is a continuation of a practice that's been going on for years,'' Schein said 

An Energy Department review concluded the Hanford and Nevada sites continue to be the 
best locations for disposal in terms of cost and environmental considerations, Schein 

Some Energy Department sites, including those at Los Alamos, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn., 
and Savannah River, S.C., would continue to dispose of as much of their own low-level 
waste as practical.

The Hanford nuclear site made plutonium for the nation's nuclear arsenal until the 
1980s and is now being cleaned up as the most contaminated nuclear site in the nation.

Schein said he did not know if Hanford's designation is likely to increase the amount 
of DOE wastes shipped to the site.

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           Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)

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