West Valley Demonstration Project
West Valley is an AWE facility for 1966-1979 and a DOE facility for 1980 to the present so workers are eligible to file for Part B claims for the AWE years and Part Band Part E claims for the DOE years..
From 1966 to 1972, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., under contract to the State of New York, operated a commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at the Western New York Nuclear Services Center. The plant reprocessed uranium and plutonium from spent nuclear fuel; sixty percent of this fuel was generated at defense facilities. Spent nuclear fuel reprocessing generated approximately 600,000 gallons of liquid high-level radioactive waste; this waste was stored onsite in underground tanks.
In 1980, the United States Congress passed the West Valley Demonstration Project Act (Public Law 96-368), which authorized the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a technology demonstration project to solidify the liquid high-level waste at the Western New York Nuclear Services Center. Under this act, DOE is also responsible for developing containers suitable for the permanent disposal of the solidified high-level waste at an appropriate Federal repository; transporting the containers to this repository; disposing of low level waste and transuranic waste generated by high level waste solidification; and decontaminating and decommissioning facilities used for the solidification. DOE is also responsible for dispositioning the spent nuclear fuel stored at the site.
In 1982, DOE selected vitrification as the treatment process for high level waste. This process solidifies and stabilizes nuclear waste by mixing it with molten glass. Pretreatment of the high-level waste began in 1988 and was successfully completed in 1995. DOE expects to complete the West Valley Demonstration Project by 2005.
During the period of residual contamination, as designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and as noted in the dates above, employees of subsequent owners and operators of this facility are also covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.
DOE Legacy Management has a webpage for West Valley since it was considered for FUSRAP.
NIOSH lists statistics for West Valley dose reconstructions.