DOE releases updated cleanup strategy

March 10, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has issued EM Strategic Vision 2022-2032, a blueprint for planned nuclear-related cleanup efforts over the next decade. The document outlines environmental cleanup priorities for 2022–2032, focusing on safety, innovation, and improved performance.

According to a March 8 statement, the DOE is working to fulfill “the moral and ecological responsibility of safely dealing with contamination and delivering on environmental justice goals in communities that were vital to the development of nuclear weapons and advances in government-sponsored nuclear energy research.”

EM Strategic Vision 2022–2032, which is available here, is an update of previous iterations and was developed with feedback from regulators, tribal nations, local communities, and other partners.

Strategic tasks: Cleanup work for DOE sites over the next decade includes the following:

  • Initiating radioactive tank waste treatment at the Hanford Site in Washington state and completing other significant risk-reduction activities at the site.
  • Emptying and closing 22 of 51 underground waste tanks at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
  • Completing the new safety-significant confinement ventilation system, a new utility shaft, and other key infrastructure upgrades at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
  • Completing the treatment of liquid sodium-bearing waste at the Idaho National Laboratory site.
  • Demolishing two of three former uranium enrichment process buildings at the Portsmouth site in Ohio.
  • Finalizing and implementing long-term approaches for treating contaminated groundwater at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
  • Initiating soil remediation and final groundwater treatment approaches at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site in Ventura County, Calif.
  • Completing legacy cleanup activities at the Moab uranium mill site in Utah, the Nevada National Security Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Quote: “The Strategic Vision sets EM on a course that will span a decade and keeps us focused on achieving EM’s vital nuclear cleanup mission safely, effectively, and at a practical cost to the American taxpayers,” said EM senior advisor William “Ike” White.

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