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OIG Issues Report on NRC Oversight of Decommissioning Activities at a Disposal Area

The NRC Office of the Inspector General (OIG) made public a report on the NRC’s involvement in the decommissioning of the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) in Pennsylvania.  U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey (D-Pa) commissioned the report in June 2012 to investigate whether the NRC had properly required compliance with rules regarding the decommissioning of the site. The report found that incomplete inspection records and incomplete burial records make it difficult to determine definitively whether SLDA burials were compliant, whether government oversight was adequate, and what exactly is buried on the SLDA site and in what locations.

OIG found that although the decommissioning process for SLDA did not begin until about 23 years after the site reportedly stopped being used for burial, and has lasted much longer than the 2-year goal set by the NRC’s current decommissioning regulations, the licensee has demonstrated compliance with decommissioning requirements, which have been evolving since 1988. The OIG did not identify any evidence suggesting the NRC has not fulfilled its obligations related to the cleanup of SLDA.