Skip to main content
Consensus Study Report


The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, which produced plutonium for nuclear weapons from 1944-1987, is the site of the largest and most complex nuclear cleanup challenge in the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) is responsible for managing the cleanup of the radioactive and other hazardous wastes stored in 177 underground tanks at the site. DOE plans to use vitrification, or immobilization in glass waste forms, for all of the high-level radioactive waste at Hanford. However, because the volume of "low-activity waste" exceeds DOEs capacity limits for vitrification, DOE must decide how to treat the remaining "supplemental low-activity waste" (SLAW) so that it can be safely disposed in a near-surface disposal site. To help inform its decision, DOE contracted with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), led by Savannah River National Laboratory, to analyze and report its findings about three potential alternative technologies.

At the request of Congress, the National Academies reviewed the FFRDC report in terms of its value for decision making and how well it meets various Congressional requirements related to Hanford cleanup. The review concludes that the FFRDC report is overall very strong, provides a useful framework for evaluating the technology options, and is responsive to guidance from the first National Academies review. The framework provides for structured side-by-side comparisons, using relevant criteria, of a limited number of alternatives for managing SLAW. Recommendations for strengthening the report include estimating a lifecycle cost profile for constructing and operating each alternative, and providing more in-depth discussion on potential challenges that may need to be addressed in obtaining the necessary various regulatory approvals.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Review of the Continued Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Review #2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

76 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-69083-6
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-69086-7

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:

Marketplace Support
International +1.978.646.2600
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at

loading iconLoading stats for Review of the Continued Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Review #2...