A low-level radioactive waste facility in Texas has started disposal operations, sealing away its first ever shipment of waste materials.
The Texas Compact Facility in Andrews County is the only facility in the USA to be licensed within the last 30 years that is authorised to dispose of all classes of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) materials considered suitable for near-surface burial.
All waste goes into steel reinforced concrete canisters 3m tall and 20cm thick. These will be stacked in a landfill area 305m deep and braced with a concrete liner over 2m thick. This will eventually be covered over by concrete and the site returned to a greenfield status, with the waste stored safely within. The facility is situated in a semi-arid and isolated location and sits atop a 150m thick feet layer of impermeable red-bed clay not near to any underground drinking water sources. This clay formation, along with strong local support, makes the ideal setting for an LLW disposal facility.