The State-Licensed Disposal Area (SDA) consists of 14 trenches containing approximately 2.4 million cubic feet of radioactive waste that accumulated from 1963 to 1975 when the Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), a private contractor, handled disposal operations. The operations were terminated in 1975 when water infiltration caused contaminated water to overflow from the trenches.
Aerial Photo of the SDA
Since 1983 when NYSERDA assumed management of the SDA from NFS, its West Valley Program has successfully minimized water infiltration into the disposal trenches by installing a protective cover over the trenches and prevented groundwater movement into the area. NYSERDA monitors environmental conditions at the SDA to continue its safe management. Long-term management is being addressed as part of the Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and/or Long-Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center [PDF|2.37 MB]. Currently, NYSERDA's preferred alternative is to continue active management of the SDA, under regulatory oversight, for up to 10 years.
NYSERDA continues implementation and improvement of ongoing environmental monitoring and maintenance activities in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements, including a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation radiation control permit, and a New York State Department of Health radioactive materials license. NYSERDA has effectively managed the SDA for the past 25 years, and monitoring data and inspections show that the SDA is performing in a safe and compliant manner.
In 2011, the WVSMP began installation of erosion control structures to stabilize Erdman Brook, located immediately adjacent to the SDA. NYSERDA plans to complete the erosion control construction activities in Erdman Brook in the summer of 2012.
NYSERDA prepares quarterly and annual environmental reports for the SDA describing the status of activities and environmental monitoring being conducted in accordance with regulatory guidance.