ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Department of Energy opened a public comment period Thursday afternoon on a proposal to change how it classifies “high-level” nuclear waste.
Currently, all waste that was created as a byproduct of the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is considered “high-level radioactive waste.”
In a call with reporters Thursday morning, a DOE official said that under the proposed updated interpretation, some of the solid and liquid wastes from reprocessing would be classified as “non-high-level waste” if they met one of two criteria.
“I think that DOE has the responsibility to continuously explore innovative ways to perform our cleanup, which continues to be protective of worker safety, human health and the environment and (this) would be one of those ways,” he said. “We’re continuously looking to do things better.”