The Hazardous Waste Bureau is responsible for ensuring that hazardous wastes at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are managed and disposed of in a manner protective of human health and the environment. Activities include permitting, inspections, compliance assistance, enforcement, and remediation. Learn about the Hazardous Waste Bureau’s regulatory priorities for the INL below.
DEQ is responsible for administering hazardous waste permits at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Many of the wastes managed at the permitted treatment and storage facilities at the INL are “mixed waste,” or waste that is regulated by DEQ under the Hazardous Waste Management Act for its chemically hazardous properties and by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its radioactive properties.
DEQ’s permitting efforts aim to support both the ongoing mission at INL and the 1995 Settlement Agreement addressing legacy wastes and ongoing site cleanup and closure actions.
Three areas at the INL conduct permitted hazardous waste activity:
- Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC)
- Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC)
- Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC), including the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project
INTEC historically reprocessed spent nuclear fuels, among other research missions. Today, efforts are primarily focused on managing the residuals from this reprocessing effort. Mixed waste managed at INTEC includes calcine solids and approximately 853,000 gallons of liquid sodium-bearing waste stored in underground tanks. Mixed waste is also generated from equipment decontamination and closure, as well as characterization, treatment, and repacking of highly radioactive mixed waste from INL and other DOE sites. These wastes usually require further treatment prior to shipment off site. The site currently has multiple partial permits (meaning less than the entire site) addressing these activities.
- Liquid Waste Management System
- Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center Storage and Treatment
- Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center Postclosure
- Calcine Solids Storage
MFC supports INL’s ongoing mission and management of legacy waste from past activities. These activities include storage; storage of waste for radioactive decay; treatment by neutralization of mixed waste; and waste characterization, treatment, and repackaging. MFC has a single partial permit addressing activities at the site.
RWMC received, disposed of (before the early 1970s), and stored Cold War wastes. To date, over 60,000 cubic meters of mixed waste has been retrieved, characterized, treated, repackaged, and shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant or other suitable disposal locations. The Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and the RWMC component of the Volume 18 permit address waste management activities at RWMC.