What are the potential environmental impacts from manufacture of depleted uranium shielded casks?
In addition to human health and safety consequences, the PEIS evaluated the potential consequences of various depleted uranium management strategies on air quality, water and soil quality, socioeconomics (that is, economic and social conditions), ecology, waste management, resource requirements, and land use. Manufacture of depleted uranium shielded casks could result in adverse impacts to air, water, and soil quality as a result of construction activities. A manufacturing facility would require about 90 acres of land area. Potential air quality impacts would be from particulate matter generated during construction; such impacts could be controlled by good construction practices. Also, construction activities have the potential to result in surface water, groundwater, or soil contamination through spills of construction chemicals. However, by following good engineering practices, concentrations in soil and wastewater (and therefore surface water and groundwater) could be kept well within applicable standards or guidelines.
No other adverse impacts from manufacturing were identified for the areas evaluated. Socioeconomic impacts are evaluated in terms of jobs and income generated, which are considered positive impacts. Manufacturing oxide- or metal-shielded casks was estimated to result in about 470 direct jobs and the generation of about $33 million in direct income per operational year.
(For more details on the environmental risks from manufacturing, see also Section 2.4 and Appendix H of the PEIS.)
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