A leader of the West Valley Coalition on Nuclear Waste said Monday that about 20 to 30 acres of low-level radioactive waste buried in trenches at the West Valley Demonstration Project should be exhumed and stored in a retrievable manner.
Carol Mongerson, a Town of Concord social worker who is a frequent spokeswoman for the coalition, suggested the idea at a 2 1/2 - hour session with project officials.
More than 50 people attended the meeting, the continuation of a dialogue among area residents, local government leaders and the professionals in charge of the cleanup of nearly 600,000 gallons of radioactive waste.
The meeting was one of a series of sessions devoted to proposing concepts on how the various radioactive wastes and related environmental and economic conditions are to be handled in the 21st century and beyond.
Kathy Roach talked about erosion control and possible effects of harsher weather that may develop if the earth warms. Ray Vaughan said the project must examine the handling of the underground vaults and tanks that hold the liquid waste and the building where they were processed.
Betty Cook and Kathleen Duwe discussed the need for long-term monitoring of the stored wastes, as reminders to succeeding generations that they require attention.
Ms. Mongerson said she is optimistic about the success of the planning effort because for the first time, private citizens have been asked to participate in the process.
Ideas discussed Monday will be incorporated into a court-ordered environmental impact statement that will take from four to six years to prepare, according to John Chamberlain, a West Valley community relations specialist.
The concepts will not come into play at least until the high-level radioactive waste is converted into glass logs. That now is unlikely to start before 1994, according to Joseph Buggy, president of West Valley Nuclear Services, the project's prime contractor.