DOE's cleanup year in review

December 21, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy, in its 2023 Year in Review released on December 20, noted that its cleanup program in 2023 had successes in treating liquid tank waste, carrying out deactivation and decommissioning, remediating groundwater and soil contamination, and reducing risk at its various sites across the nation.

William “Ike” White, senior advisor in the DOE's Office of Environmental Management, said that the office “realized numerous accomplishments in 2023 that not only reduce risks but help position cleanup sites for the next phase of progress. In addition, our workforce’s efforts over the past year led to a cleaner environment while also boosting DOE’s national security missions, supporting scientific innovation, and enabling a better future.”

The 2023 Year in Review highlights progress and accomplishments at each DOE-EM site:

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

  • Received 473 waste shipments from generator sites and began commissioning the new Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System.

Idaho Cleanup Project

  • Completed transfer of all spent nuclear fuel from wet to dry storage.

Hanford Site

  • Heated up the first melter and poured the first test glass at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant.

Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office

  • Completed waste placement of 163,000 cubic yards from the X-326 Process Building demolition in the On-Site Waste Disposal Facility at the Portsmouth Site.
  • Removed an additional 1 million pounds of hazardous R-114 refrigerant at the Paducah site.

Oak Ridge

  • Completed demolition on the Low Intensity Test Reactor and began early site preparation for the Environmental Management Disposal Facility.

Savannah River Site

  • Completed construction of Saltstone Disposal Unit 8.

EM Los Alamos Field Office

  • Exceeded transuranic waste shipment goal for planned shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

West Valley Demonstration Project

  • Demolished and disposed of 9,000 tons of Main Plant Process Building waste.

Small Site Progress

  • Completed removal of a cumulative 14 million tons of material from the Moab site.

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