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The Environment
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The Environment

The Department of Energy has the monumental task of cleaning up contaminated sites and disposing of radioactive waste left behind as a byproduct of nuclear weapons production, nuclear powered naval vessels and commercial nuclear energy production.    DOE must mitigate the risks and hazards posed by the legacy of nuclear weapons production and research. The most ambitious and far ranging of this mission is dealing with the environmental legacy of the Cold War.

towers of a nuclear power plant 

Disposing of nuclear waste safely
DOE must develop and manage a federal system for waste acceptance and transportation and dispose of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors and high-level radioactive waste from national defense activities.

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The environmental legacy of the Cold War
The most ambitious and far ranging missions of DOE is dealing with the environmental legacy of the Cold War. These efforts include site closure activities, disposition of nuclear materials and waste, and science and technology research to facilitate the environmental clean up.

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Safely storing radioactive waste
The Department began studying Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in 1978 to determine whether it would be suitable for the nation's first long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Currently stored at 131 sites around the nation, these materials are a result of nuclear power generation and national defense programs.

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Protecting the environment and the public
DOE must identify and resolve environmental policy and radiation protection issues by developing environmental policies, standards, guidance and associated tools to assist in  discharging its environmental and public protection responsibilities.


Last Updated: 6/26/2008


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