Login to the D&D KM-IT.

Not a registered user? click here for U.S. registration or here for international registration.      Forgot your password? Click here

User name:   Password:   Close

Search the D&D KM-IT

Welcome Guest
Try our mobile friendly tool.

Share page:  

printer friendly logo

D&D Industry News

Keep up with deactivation and decommissioning industry news and current events.

Oak Ridge Welcomes New Class of Summer Interns

July 12, 2024

Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management contractor UCOR added 39 students from 13 schools across the nation to its workforce for the summer through its internship program.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Planning ahead to bridge an expected experience gap as many members of the workforce reach retirement age, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) contractor UCOR began expanding its internship program in recent years. This summer, the company added 39 students from 13 schools across the nation to its team.

The intern program provides unique opportunities for students like Jessica Ariks.

After 15 years serving as the nurse for a local elementary school, Ariks was looking for a fresh start in a new career. A newly single mom, she sought the schedule stability of her former career but with an income to better provide for her three kids.

After exploring options that could complement her nursing education, Ariks decided on the UCOR-sponsored Environmental Health Technology program at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee. Excited to be among the first safety and industrial hygiene interns from that program, Ariks said this has been her dream job since she first enrolled.

“This internship is the realization that I can set goals and put in the work to achieve them,” Ariks said. “It’s the discovery that my efforts are worth the sacrifices I’ve made. It’s the example I’ll use years from now with my three daughters when they go through hard things and doubt themselves.”

University partnerships have enabled UCOR to more easily recruit military veterans. The summer intern program hosts a record three veterans in this year’s class, including Kaitlyn Raven.

After finding nursing school wasn’t for her, Raven joined the U.S. Army. After her medical retirement, she took part in the Army’s Chapter 31 aptitude testing for the exit to civilian life, which led her to choose civil engineering at Tennessee State University.

“I chose UCOR for my first internship at the recommendation of my professor,” said Raven, one of UCOR’s first interns from Tennessee State University in Nashville.

An engineer supporting work at the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Raven is leaning on her Army experience.

This year, UCOR expanded intern opportunities into new areas, including Raven’s assignment. Nyree Macklin, also from Tennessee State University, is the first intern assigned to support the company’s human resources department. Other new areas for interns in 2024 include project controls and work coordination for the nuclear operations team.

From left, interns Cari Estrada Cardona, John Woods, Josh Vejda and Shawn Cameron dress for a demonstration at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor. UCOR is deactivating that facility for near-term demolition, continuing to transform Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s central campus.

The company continues its partnership with Florida International University​, where Shawn Cameron graduated in May with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Cameron completed research and internships with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management through a DOE fellowship. Now, he’s excited to support the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) by working in UCOR’s Technology Development group. Drawing on experience from a previous internship studying sink holes at EM's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Cameron produced a design in his first three weeks of his current UCOR internship.

UCOR’s summer internship program pairs college students with mentors in their respective departments. Nearly half of the interns have pursued careers at UCOR after completing their internships. Ten students from the 2023 class returned for the 2024 internship program, while 11 students joined UCOR as full-time employees upon graduation.

This year’s class includes a student from the DOE Mentorship for Environmental Scholars Program, which focuses on recruiting underrepresented students from historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority serving institutions.

-Contributor: Shannon Potter
-Source: EM Update Newsletter

Date Created: 6/25/2024 8:00 AM
Title: Oak Ridge Welcomes New Class of Summer Interns

U-233 Processing in Oak Ridge Exceeds EM Priority Goal

July 12, 2024

Employees move processed material to a shipping cask for permanent disposal offsite. Since processing began in the U-233 Disposition Project, Isotek has shipped approximately 350,000 pounds of waste for disposal.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and contractor Isotek achieved a 2024 priority for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) while also crossing another major milestone in the highest priority cleanup project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

OREM and Isotek surpassed EM’s goal of processing 35 canisters of uranium (U)-233 in 2024. They have processed 39 canisters so far this year, bringing the total to 100 canisters processed as part of the U-233 Disposition Project.

The project is focused on eliminating the inventory of U-233 stored in the world’s oldest operating nuclear facility, located at ORNL. That material presents risks and is costly to keep safe and secure. Originally created in the 1950s and 1960s for potential use in reactors, U-233 proved to be an unviable fuel source.

“Getting to this point has taken a lot of hard work,” said Sarah Schaefer, Isotek president and project manager. “Each canister can present its own unique challenges, but the people at Isotek always figure it out and keep us moving forward.”

Half of the U-233 inventory was disposed of between 2011 and 2017; however, the remaining material requires processing to convert it into a form safe for shipment and disposal.

Isotek began processing the lower-dose material in 2019 and higher-dose material in 2022. The current processing campaign for the higher-dose material is 25% complete and slated for completion in 2026.

Isotek has shipped approximately 350,000 pounds of waste for disposal since processing began in the U-233 Disposition Project.

As Isotek progresses through the remaining inventory, the contents of the canisters will present more challenges, such as a higher radiation dose or more difficulty in opening the canisters.

“Isotek has already designed and tested the equipment needed to process the next type of U-233, and we intend to begin processing it before the end of this year,” said Schaefer.

Additionally, an agreement with TerraPower allows Isotek to extract thorium-229, an extremely rare isotope, from the material before it is processed and disposed of.

Isotek extracts the thorium-229 before it’s shipped to TerraPower. The company uses that extracted material to recover actinium-225, a medical isotope critical to a promising form of next generation cancer treatment called targeted alpha therapy.

Earlier this year, TerraPower announced it distributed the first samples of actinium-225 to two pharmaceutical companies to support the development of the revolutionary cancer treatment.

Once all thorium-229 has been extracted over the next four years during the remainder of the U-233 Disposition Project — an estimated 40 grams — 100 times more doses of next generation cancer treatments will be available annually than are currently available worldwide.

Global demand for actinium-225 is expected to increase as more treatments are developed, making the work performed by OREM and Isotek more vital and impactful.

-Contributor: John Gray
-Source: EM Update Newsletter​

Date Created: 6/18/2024 9:30 AM
Title: U-233 Processing in Oak Ridge Exceeds EM Priority Goal

Collaborative Research and Development Supports Hanford Waste Vitrification

July 12, 2024

This scaled-down vitrification plant at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is being commissioned to test various waste glass components and configurations.

RICHLAND, Wash. — For more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management’s Office of River Protection has collaborated with national and international laboratories, universities and glass industry experts to plan and prepare for 24/7 operations at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) at the Hanford Site.

When operational, WTP will begin vitrifying millions of gallons of radioactive and chemical waste stored in Hanford’s large, underground tanks since national defense operations during World War II and the Cold War era. Vitrifying the waste entails immobilizing it in glass through mixing in large melters.

When cooled, the waste components do not sit inside the glass, rather they become part of the glass itself, chemically bound in place for safe disposal.

The waste treatment preparations include work by experts in national facilities: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington; Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls; the Vitreous State Laboratory in Washington, D.C.; and Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. The international counterparts include universities in England and the Czech Republic, colleagues in Sweden and Israel, and institutes in France and Japan.

Over the years, the national labs have developed a large database of glass properties, from which PNNL has built chemical-property models and a glass-formulation program to run the vitrification process more efficiently. In addition, Rutgers University, Washington State University – Pullman and Sheffield Hallam University in England have contributed through studying the structure of glass and how it can be used to control the properties of various wastes.

The University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague has contributed through testing how various waste streams are fed to melters, and scientists in Israel, Sweden and England have studied waste glass durability and how it compares to that of naturally occurring glasses that have existed in the environment for thousands of years.

In addition, communication with Corning Inc., formerly Corning Glass Works, ensures alignment with current industrial glass manufacturing developments, and discussions with counterparts in France and Japan help ensure correlation with similar research where technologies, waste streams and immobilization strategies differ slightly.

The international effort has been instrumental in helping Hanford anticipate and address engineering and operational challenges to immobilize waste in glass. PNNL, the lab closest to WTP and directly connected to the Hanford Site, has been the integrator of the effort, maintaining the largest staff, a diverse array of laboratory equipment and several key testing platforms.

-Contributor: Albert Kruger
-Source: EM Update Newsletter​

Date Created: 6/18/2024 1:00 PM
Title: Collaborative Research and Development Supports Hanford Waste Vitrification

SRS Completes Construction Milestone on Next Mega-Size Disposal Unit

July 12, 2024

srs disposal unit.jpg
All major concrete placements have been completed on Saltstone Disposal Unit 10, the latest mega-size disposal unit being built at the Savannah River Site, bringing the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management and contractor Savannah River Mission Completion a step closer to achieving the liquid waste mission. This aerial view shows the final roof section being installed on the unit.

AIKEN, S.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) has attained another milestone in the construction of mega-size disposal units necessary to complete the cleanup program at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

With the placement of 25 wall sections, 208 support columns and seven roof sections, EM crews have completed all major concrete placements for Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) 10. When complete, SDU 10 will be the fifth mega-size unit built at SRS that can hold up to 33 million gallons of saltstone. More than 20,000 cubic yards of concrete is needed to build each SDU, using approximately 700,000 total labor hours.

Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), the SRS liquid waste contractor, manages the construction and operation of the SDUs. Constructing the large-scale disposal units is a priority for the cleanup program, and this milestone comes just weeks after SRMC received authorization to operate SDU 9.

Subcontractor DN Tanks completed the concrete construction, and Quality Plus Services completed the site preparation for the project.

Jim Folk, DOE-Savannah River assistant manager for waste disposition, said it has been affirming to witness the landscape change at SRS as the SDUs are built.

“Since the first mega-unit, SDU 6, was built in 2017, EM has not slowed down on construction of these critical structures,” Folk said. “These SDUs ensure that the decontaminated salt solution will have a place to be safely and permanently disposed of. Completion of the concrete placements for SDU 10 is another step forward on the mission to clean up the legacy radioactive waste at the Savannah River Site.”

The SDUs are the end of the salt waste processing path. The Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) separates and concentrates the highly radioactive waste from the less radioactive salt waste, producing a decontaminated salt solution that is sent to the Saltstone Production Facility. There, the solution is mixed with dry materials to make a cement-like grout. The grout is pumped into the SDUs, where it solidifies into a monolithic, non-hazardous form.

The larger SDUs are designed to support the increased material from SWPF. The new SDUs result in more than $500 million in cost savings over the life of the SRS liquid waste program because they require less infrastructure and materials than the previously planned 80 smaller SDUs.

Next on the to-do list for SDU 10 is to wrap the unit with 341 miles of cable around the exterior walls. The cable in the unit walls ensures the structural integrity while grout is being added before it turns into hardened saltstone.

Work is also underway for the final pair of SDUs — 11 and 12 — adjacent to SDU 10. Mud mat installation for SDU 11 is scheduled to start later this summer, and the mud mat addition for SDU 12 is scheduled to begin in the fall. They provide a solid surface for the SDU concrete floor.

Dave Olson, SRMC president and program manager, said he is impressed and proud of the skilled work by the crews constructing SDU 10.

“Most importantly, this project is being completed safely, with no injuries that caused a missed day on the job,” Olson said. “The construction crews building the SDUs continuously prove themselves to be safety-focused and reliable, which are two important core values of Savannah River Mission Completion.”

-Contributor: Colleen Hart
-Source: EM Update Newsletter​

Date Created: 6/11/2024 4:30 PM
Title: SRS Completes Construction Milestone on Next Mega-Size Disposal Unit

Photo Project to Help Document Hanford’s Historic T Plant

July 12, 2024

Among the most historic buildings at the Hanford Site, the T Plant was built to support the site's World War II-era mission. It became the world’s first full-scale reprocessing canyon, producing plutonium sent to a top-secret site in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for use in testing and weapons.

RICHLAND, Wash. — Photography of one of the most historic buildings at the Hanford Site is on its way to the Library of Congress as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s participation in the nationwide Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) process.

Established in 1969 by the National Park Service, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Library of Congress, the HAER documents historic sites and structures related to engineering and industry.

From steel bridges and railroads to facilities and structures, the HAER provides a detailed account of America’s historic engineering feats through large-format photography, final drawings and other information. These records are preserved in the Library of Congress and complement similar programs focused on architecture and landscapes.

When most people think about Hanford’s role in the Manhattan Project, it’s B Reactor that springs to mind. But T Plant was no less critical to the site’s success. Once irradiated inside the B Reactor, uranium fuel rods were taken by rail to T Plant to be dissolved in a series of chemical baths, finally resulting in the extraction of just a tiny bit of plutonium.

Three of these plants were built to support Hanford’s World War II-era mission. T Plant came online first, becoming the world’s first full-scale reprocessing canyon and producing the plutonium sent to a top-secret site in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for use in testing and weapons.

DOE Hanford’s National Park Program requested the completion of the HAER process, including the specialized photography.

“T Plant is no less historic than B Reactor,” said Colleen French, DOE’s National Park Program manager. “They are two big characters in the same important story. Like B Reactor, T Plant needs to be evaluated for National Historic Landmark status and could someday be included in updates to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park when Hanford’s cleanup mission is complete.”

The documentation process for the HAER requires measured drawings that illustrate the structure’s functions and systems, detailed historical reports and large-format black-and-white photographs using film. Enter Harley Cowan, a Portland, Oregon-based photographer and architect who has made significant contributions to architectural heritage documentation and preservation through large-format black-and-white photography.

“While visually striking, this method is chosen for its high resolution and archival stability,” said Cowan. “The clarity and depth of detail captures images beyond what conventional photography can offer. It ensures the documentation of a structure’s engineering can be preserved.”

An expert in his field, Cowan has completed work included in the Historic American Buildings Survey Collection at the Library of Congress, and he has been recognized with numerous accolades. He was inducted into the Atomic Photographers Guild in 2019 for his documentation of the B Reactor and the Manhattan Project.

Cowan spent a week in May capturing the nuances of T Plant using a Sinar camera, which is known for its high-quality formatting. The process of large-format photography is like that of the early 1900s, though the equipment is better. Cowan uses a large, tripod-mounted camera with a dark cloth, or hood, to block out light. He focuses the image with a ground glass screen that displays the scene upside down and manually sets exposure times.

“It’s not as easy as ‘point and shoot,’” said Cowan. “Architectural photographs are a science.”

See some of Cowan’s photographs documenting other Manhattan Project sites.

Source: EM Update Newsletter

Date Created: 6/11/2024 4:00 PM
Title: Photo Project to Help Document Hanford’s Historic T Plant

Perfect Fit: Crews Assemble Cask Storage System

July 12, 2024

cask storage system.jpg
Crews with U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company recently began assembling a cask storage system for 1,936 radioactive capsules at the Hanford Site. When fully loaded, each concrete cask will weigh up to 170,000 pounds.

RICHLAND, Wash. — U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company has begun assembling a cask storage system that will support moving almost 2,000 radioactive capsules out of a water-filled basin into safer dry storage, a significant step in risk reduction at the Hanford Site.

In the mid-1970s, workers removed cesium and strontium from waste in Hanford’s underground storage tanks to reduce the waste temperature. At Hanford’s Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility (WESF), workers placed both elements in sealed, stainless steel capsules for safe storage under 13 feet of water. The water provides shielding from radiation and keeps the capsules from overheating.

Workers will begin transferring the capsules from the WESF basin next year into large concrete casks for air-cooled storage on a secure, concrete pad near the facility. Dry storage will eliminate the possibility of a release of radioactive material in the unlikely event of a loss of basin water, and subsequent overheating and breach of the capsules.

“The dry storage configuration also paves the way for eventual decontamination and demolition of the WESF facility,” EM Federal Project Director Gary Pyles said. “Deactivating the facility will reduce operating costs, eliminate a risk in our cleanup operations and keep the Hanford mission moving forward.”

cask storage system 2.jpg
A transportable storage container is a key component of the cask storage system for 1,936 radioactive capsules on the Hanford Site. The capsules will be moved from an underwater basin in Hanford’s Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility and placed in concrete casks for safe, interim dry storage.

Workers modified WESF last fall to support the transfer of capsules and they are installing and testing remote-operated equipment to move capsules from the basin into a shielded room for inspection. The capsules are loaded into protective sleeves filled with helium, which helps dissipate heat.

They will then load the sleeves in a container that fits in a large, reinforced concrete cask that provides shielding and weighs up to 170,000 pounds when fully loaded.

After workers move the casks to the outdoor storage pad, airflow keeps the temperature of the sealed capsules within safe limits. This is similar to how spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear plants is stored.

The capsules contain about a third of the radioactivity on the Hanford Site.

WATCH THISTimelapse video highlights assembly of the cask storage system.

Source: EM Update Newletter

Date Created: 6/4/2024 12:30 PM
Title: Perfect Fit: Crews Assemble Cask Storage System

West Valley Clears One Large Component After Another From Main Plant

June 19, 2024

An operator uses a fork truck to safely remove a vent washer from the west side of the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

WEST VALLEY, N.Y. – U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EM) crews safely removed and packaged for disposal another massive component from the Main Plant Process Building recently as part of the facility’s ongoing demolition at the West Valley Demonstration Project(WVDP).

The vent washer weighed approximately 15,000 pounds and was approximately 7 feet wide, 20 feet long and more than 7 feet high. Its removal comes after EM crews successfully cleared the “Green Giant” from the facility. Painted green decades ago, it was a system that held samples from various vessels used in former spent fuel reprocessing operations at West Valley. It weighed 1,100 pounds, with 75,000 pounds of steel and lead shield plates on the outside of it.

"The West Valley Demonstration Project team continues to make great progress in the demolition of the Main Plant as part of our cleanup efforts,” Stephen Bousquet, EM West Valley assistant director of Project Management, said of the vent washer removal.

The vent washer filtered airborne particulates from ventilated air before it passed through HEPA filters and was exhausted through the Main Stack during spent fuel reprocessing operations. The airborne particles originated from sawing and shearing of fuel rods and the ventilation flow from other cells and reprocessing equipment, including ventilation hoods in the Main Plant.

“This all comes down to deliberate speed and comprehensive planning,” Bousquet said. “Developing a comprehensive plan that defines the work, analyzes the hazards, develops controls, and utilizes feedback and lessons learned helped this evolution to be safe and successful."

The vent washer is one of more than 120 items at the Main Plant identified by EM requiring special handling and packaging for disposal.

Crews added a cement mixture known as grout to the vent washer to fix and stabilize internal contamination before pulling it from the Main Plant.

The vent washer was safely taken out of the Ventilation Wash Room through the Main Plant’s west wall. It was then placed in a custom-built waste package, bringing the total weight to more than 135,000. Moving that load posed a challenge to workers, but they did so safely and successfully through special rigging and material handling. The heavily shielded waste box will be disposed of at an offsite facility.

Scott Chase, deputy manager for Facility Disposition for EM cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV), echoed Bousquet’s sentiment.

“This is the most physically challenging work at the site when you include radiological and industrial hazards, layers of protective clothing and limited mobility,” Chase said. “This crew used lessons learned and planning to enhance safety and improve efficiency. They put their collective knowledge into practice to complete this work evolution safely.”

The Main Plant is one of the last remaining major facilities at West Valley. Its successful demolition will further reduce environmental risks and position the site for the next phase in cleanup. The demolition is expected to be completed in fiscal year 2025.

-Contributor: Joseph Pillittere
-Source: EM Update Newsletter​

Date Created: 5/28/2024 1:00 PM
Title: West Valley Clears One Large Component After Another From Main Plant

EM Team Takes Part in Inaugural Workshop, New Facility for Robotics, AI

June 19, 2024

FIU AI robotics workshop.jpeg
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Workshop for Nuclear Decommissioning attendees at Florida International University gather for a photo.

MIAMI — U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) representatives recently explored technical challenges and solutions and celebrated the opening of a new facility for robotics and artificial intelligence research conducted for EM and other organizations during an inaugural workshop hosted by the Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University (FIU).

Held at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus and Engineering Center, the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Workshop for Nuclear Decommissioning kicked off with welcoming remarks from Inés Triay, interim dean of FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing, Leonel Lagos, ARC’s director of research, and Rodrigo Rimando, director of EM’s Technology Operations Office.

Workshop attendees included personnel from EM cleanup sites, DOE national laboratories, DOE contractors, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international research centers, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Department of Defense, Georgia Tech, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Florida state and community colleges, and private industry. FIU staff, faculty and students also took part.

FIU technology innovation hub.jpeg
Officials take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Florida International University (FIU) Technology Innovation Hub: Applied Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. From left are Rod Rimando, director of the Technology Operations Office at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management; Himanshu Upadhyay, associate professor for the FIU College of Electrical & Computer Engineering; Heather Russell, vice provost, Faculty Leadership & Success, FIU Office of the Provost; Inés Triay, interim dean, FIU College of Engineering and Computing; and Leonel Lagos, director of research, FIU Applied Research Center, and associate professor, Moss Construction Management.

The first day of the workshop was dedicated to technical challenges at federal agencies such as DOE and across the globe from the perspective of IAEA.

The second day addressed technical solutions being developed and implemented at DOE sites, national laboratories and contractors, and other federal agencies.

The third day’s focus was on the presentation of several international projects conducted at IAEA, as well as other agencies in Germany, Norway and South Korea. Participants also discussed workforce development needs and opportunities.

Workshop participants also inaugurated FIU’s Technology Innovation Hub: Applied Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Heather Russell from FIU’s Office of the Provost delivered brief remarks and assisted in the ribbon cutting ceremony. The new facility will serve as a focal point for robotics and artificial intelligence research being conducted for EM, other federal agencies, private industry and international partners. It will also serve as a training and education center for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students interested in research and development in those areas.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by lab tours of the newly inaugurated research facility, as well as other labs at ARC supporting EM and DOE Office of Legacy Management applied research as part of a cooperative agreement between DOE and FIU.​

-Source: EM Update Newsletter

Date Created: 5/21/2024 12:00 AM
Title: EM Team Takes Part in Inaugural Workshop, New Facility for Robotics, AI

West Valley Ships Eight Large Legacy Waste Containers for Disposal

June 19, 2024

West valley ships large legacy waste containers.jpeg

Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project use a large crane to load one of eight containers of legacy waste into an engineered overpack for safe shipment to an offsite disposal facility.

WEST VALLEY, N.Y. — Crews with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management(EM) recently met a fiscal year goal at the West Valley Demonstration Project by shipping eight containers of legacy waste each weighing up to 94,000 pounds for offsite disposal.

The effort by EM and cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV) involved comprehensive planning, engineered safeguards, continuous communication and teamwork.

“The West Valley Demonstration Project team continues to use planning, teamwork and deliberate execution to complete challenging work safely,” said Stephen Bousquet, EM West Valley assistant director of Project Management. “By removing legacy wastes, we continue to position the site for future cleanup activities.”

Workers used a large crane to pick up and lower each container into an engineered overpack, which serves as a secondary layer of protection. They loaded the overpack containers onto trailers and transported them by truck to a local rail transload facility. There, the shipment was securely loaded onto rail cars for transportation to an approved disposal facility in Texas.

The legacy waste was removed from the former Fuel Receiving and Storage Facility. The building was used from 1965 to 1972 to receive and store spent nuclear fuel before it was reprocessed to recover reusable plutonium and uranium.

“Our team members continue to use their combined knowledge to safely and deliberately complete high risk work activities,” CHBWV Waste and Site Operations Manager Peggy Loop said. “I’m proud of their efforts, accomplishments and work they continue to do on this project.”

This latest achievement joins a list of fiscal year goals EM crews have completed at West Valley, including the removal of old locker rooms and the original guardhouse, installation of new walkways, construction of a new access roadway between the north and south parking lots, and collection of a sample in an underground tank that stored high-level liquid waste from spent fuel reprocessing operations.

-Contributor: Joseph Pillittere
-Source: EM Update Newsletter​

Date Created: 5/14/2024 10:00 AM
Title: West Valley Ships Eight Large Legacy Waste Containers for Disposal

Oak Ridge Completes First Phase of New Disposal Facility Project

June 19, 2024

Work is now underway for the second phase of construction for the Environmental Management Disposal Facility. Site development continues as part of a groundwater field demonstration.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and contractor UCOR have completed the first phase of construction for the Environmental Management Disposal Facility (EMDF).

EMDF will provide the waste disposal capacity OREM needs to complete cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Field work for early site preparations began in August following a groundbreaking ceremony with congressional leaders and officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

Tasks in this subproject included tree felling, clearing 27 acres of land, rerouting of two roads and site preparation. That work, with a project cost of $27 million, was completed safely, under budget and ahead of schedule.

The kickoff for this work followed a decade of planning, regulatory decision-making and preparation, culminating in a record of decision signed by DOE, EPA and TDEC in September 2022.

“Early site prep completion is a big milestone for us,” EMDF Director Sean Dunagan said. “It paves the way for the next phase of work and keeps this critical project on schedule. All parties involved worked together to get to this point and I’m excited that the EMDF project is moving into the next phase.”

The completion of early site preparation is a major milestone for EMDF and sets this critical project on a solid path to timely completion.

The current onsite disposal facility, the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility, is nearing capacity after supporting cleanup of the East Tennessee Technology Park and ongoing demolition projects at Y-12 and ORNL.

While the first phase of field work for EMDF is complete, work continues.

The second phase, a groundwater field demonstration, is underway. It includes continued development of the site, earthwork and installation of groundwater monitoring wells. This phase will continue over the next two years, leading to the final phase of EMDF construction.

The facility is slated for completion in 2030.

-Contributor: David Barton
-Source: EM Update Newslettter​

Date Created: 5/14/2024 9:00 AM
Title: Oak Ridge Completes First Phase of New Disposal Facility Project
Back to Top
More Modules

Download Original    Management of D&D of Oak Ridge Building 3505 | After

Pre cache