Radwaste Solutions

Radwaste Solutions is a specialty magazine dedicated to the decommissioning, environmental remediation, and waste management segments of the nuclear community.

DOE issues draft RFP for Portsmouth/Paducah support services contract

December 19, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has issued a draft request for proposal for technical support services contract for the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO), which manages the department’s cleanup efforts at the two gaseous diffusion plant sites in Ohio and Kentucky.

UCOR working to fill Oak Ridge’s cleanup worker pipeline

December 15, 2023, 9:50AMRadwaste Solutions
UCOR’s Ken Rueter speaks to University of Tennessee students during an engineering colloquium series. (Photo: DOE)

A significant percentage of the workforce at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee is eligible to retire in the next decade, according to the agency. In an effort to address the potential for a staffing shortage, UCOR, the DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management contractor for cleanup activities at the site, is building a consortium with colleges and universities in the region. The collaboration aims to guide more students toward nuclear-applicable careers to build the next generation of workers for Oak Ridge and the nuclear industry at large.

Idaho’s IWTU to resume operations in early 2024

December 14, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A view of two vessels that each contain approximately 30,000 pounds of granulated activated carbon, used to remove mercury from process off-gas during IWTU operations. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management said Idaho’s Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) is set to resume radioactive liquid waste treatment operations early next year after crews replaced carbon material from two plant vessels. The IWTU was shut down for an unplanned outage on September 6 to address elevated mercury concentrations in the plant’s granulated activated carbon (GAC) beds, according to Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) reports.

Holtec loads 2,000th spent fuel cask at Entergy’s ANO

December 13, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

ANO dry storage campaign professionals stand before Holtec’s 2,000th storage cask. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International announced that it successfully loaded its 2,000th spent nuclear fuel canister this fall as part of the ongoing dry storage campaign at Entergy’s Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) power plant in Russellville, Ark.

Spent fuel from ANO’s two pressurized water reactors is stored in Holtec’s MPC-37 multipurpose canister, each containing 37 PWR fuel assemblies in a prismatic basket made of Holtec’s Metamic-HT material in an egg-crate configuration. The company’s HI-STORM dry fuel storage systems have been in use at ANO since 2003.

Quote: Entergy’s chief nuclear officer, Kimberly Cook-Nelson, said, “We appreciate the strong partnership that we at Entergy have with Holtec. Arkansas Nuclear One is an important facility for our company, the industry, the state of Arkansas, and the Russellville community, and having the 2,000th spent fuel dry storage system is a key milestone for our continued safe, secure, and reliable operations.”

NRC approves changes to Palisades’ emergency planning requirements

December 12, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Holtec Decommissioning International’s request to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Mich., to reflect the plant’s decommissioning status.

New method ensures integrity of Savannah River’s radioactive material containers

December 11, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Operators in plastic suits prepare for drum venting operations. (Photo: DOE/SRNS)

Department of Energy contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) said its Savannah River Site employees recently used an innovative method to ensure the integrity of radioactive material storage containers currently in long-term dry storage at the South Carolina site.

Orano completes removal of Crystal River-3 RPV

December 11, 2023, 6:58AMRadwaste Solutions

The first piece of Crystal River-3’s reactor pressure vessel is lifted from the reactor cavity. (Photo: Orano)

The cutting and conditioning of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and internals belonging to the pressurized water reactor at the Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant in Florida has been completed, the Orano Group has announced. Finished in under two years, removal of the RPV marks the conclusion of the plant’s dismantling and spent fuel management project, which began in 2021.

Crystal River-3 is being decommissioned by Advanced Decommissioning Partners (ADP), a joint venture of Orano and NorthStar Group Services. Duke Energy transferred the licenses for Crystal River-3 to ADP in October 2020 for accelerated decommissioning.

Optimized process: Orano’s Dismantling and Services teams carried out the cutting and conditioning of the reactor vessel and primary circuit components using a patented segmentation process called “optimized segmentation,” according to the company.

DOE issues $19 million Community Capacity Building Grant Program FOA

December 8, 2023, 12:01PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management released a competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on December 6 for the Community Capacity Building Grant Program, aimed at communities affected by DOE-EM’s mission to clean up legacy nuclear waste.

First container of test glass filled at Hanford’s Vit Plant

December 6, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Crewmembers stand in front of the first stainless-steel container filled with molten test glass at Hanford’s Vit Plant. (Photo: Bechtel National)

Bechtel and the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced on December 4 that the first set of test glass was successfully poured into a stainless-steel storage container designed to hold vitrified waste at Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant.

DOE prepares for transition of Savannah River Site management

November 29, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
DOE and NNSA personnel at a meeting discussing the plans for the upcoming SRS landlord transition. (Photo: DOE)

Personnel from the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the National Nuclear Security Administration recently gathered to discuss plans for the upcoming transfer of landlord responsibility for the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

NRC to hold hybrid meeting on Crystal River-3 license termination

November 29, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
The Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it will hold a hybrid public meeting on December 7 to discuss the license termination process and to accept comments on the remaining cleanup activities under the license termination plan for the Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Fla.

WIPP prepares to bring new ventilation system on line

November 27, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Electrical circuits are tested during the commissioning of the new ventilation system at WIPP. (Photo: DOE)

Commissioning has begun on a new large-scale ventilation system at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

The Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System (SSCVS) is expected to increase underground airflow from 170,000 cubic feet per minute up to 540,000 cfm. The increased airflow will allow for simultaneous underground waste emplacement, mining, and ground control work. Ground control, including bolting, controls the movement of salt rock—known as salt creep—in the WIPP underground.

NRC releases decommissioned Zion site for unrestricted use

November 9, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
The Zion nuclear plant site as it appeared earlier this year. (Photo: Tim Gregoire)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for “unrestricted use” most of the land on and around where the Zion nuclear power plant once operated in northeastern Illinois. This means that any residual radiation is below the NRC’s limits and there will be no further regulatory controls by the agency for that portion of the property.

Hanford pours first glass from Vit Plant melter

November 8, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Workers monitor the pouring of melter glass from a control room in Hanford’s LAW Facility. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management said crews at its Hanford Site in Washington state have started pouring the first molten glass from a waste vitrification melter into a stainless steel container at the site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant.

Hanford upgrades its Effluent Treatment Facility

November 7, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
The Hanford Site’s ETF has been expanded. (Photo: DOE)

The Hanford Site’s Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) has been expanded and will be able to handle almost 7 million more gallons of wastewater per year once the site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) begins treating waste from large underground tanks.

Paradigm Shift: Monitoring Savannah River’s groundwater using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques

November 1, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste SolutionsChris O’Neil
A close-up of the ALTEMIS monitoring device. (Photo: Brad Bohr/SRNL)

Researchers at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), in concert with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Florida International University, are leading the Advanced Long-Term Environmental Monitoring Systems (ALTEMIS) project to move groundwater cleanup from a reactive process to a proactive process, while also reducing the cost of long-term monitoring and accelerating site closure.

The remediation of Maywood

October 31, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste SolutionsJoAnne Castagna
USACE District Commander Mathew Luzzatto (right) is shown a map of the FUSRAP Maywood Superfund site in New Jersey in February 2023. (Photo: Nayelli Guerrero/USACE).

It is the 1940s in Maywood, N.J. A new residential community has sprouted up, and the homeowners want to beautify their front lawns, so they go to a nearby property to gather some fresh topsoil. Little did they know that they’re helping to plant the seeds for one of the largest and most high-profile environmental cleanup projects in the nation.

EPRI joins NEA in joint advanced reactor waste project

October 31, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
NEA director general William Magwood (left) and EPRI senior vice president Neil Wilmshurst finalize EPRI support for the joint WISARD project. (Photo: NEA)

The Nuclear Energy Agency has announced a new collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute on an upcoming project that will focus on waste management strategies for small modular reactors and advanced nuclear energy systems.

NRC approves emergency planning exemptions for defueled Indian Point

October 30, 2023, 9:52AMRadwaste Solutions
Indian Point nuclear power plant. (Photo: Daniel Case)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasgranted a request by Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI) to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Indian Point Energy Center. Reflecting the reduced risk of a radiological emergency at a decommissioning power reactor site, the exemption removes the requirement that HDI maintain a 10-mile emergency planning zone around the plant.