Depleted UF6 Environmental Risks
A discussion of the potential environmental impacts associated with depleted uranium handling or processing facilities.
Impacts Considered in the PEIS
Depleted uranium handling or processing facilities, such as storage, conversion, manufacturing, and disposal facilities, can potentially impact the environment. In the PEIS, the potential environmental impacts for construction and operation of representative depleted uranium facilities were evaluated. Potential environmental consequences were evaluated in the areas of human health and safety (normal operations and accidents), air quality and noise, water and soil, socioeconomics, wetlands and ecology, waste management, resource requirements, land use, and cultural resources. Potential impacts were evaluated for representative or generic sites to provide an estimate of the types and magnitudes of impacts that might be expected from these types of facilities in the future.
Activities/Events Resulting in Impacts
In general, potential environmental impacts from a depleted uranium handling or processing facility could occur (1) during construction of the facility, (2) during operations of the facility under both normal conditions and during postulated accidents, and (3) during any transportation of cylinders, uranium, and HF products that may be required to support the facility. The potential impacts associated with facility construction would result from typical land-clearing and construction activities. Potential impacts during operations would occur primarily to workers during handling operations and to the public as a result of routine releases of small amounts of contaminants through exhaust stacks and treated liquid effluent discharges. Potential impacts to workers and the public from processing or storage also might occur as a result of accidents that release hazardous materials, during both facility operations and transportation.
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