DOE issues final RFQ for WIPP clean energy initiative

April 19, 2024, 12:01PMRadwaste Solutions
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Carlsbad, N.M. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has issued a request for qualifications for interested parties and prospective offerors looking to enter into a realty agreement for carbon-pollution-free electricity (CFE) projects at the department’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site in southeastern New Mexico.

Hanford brings second Vit Plant melter on line

April 15, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Vit Plant crews begin adding frit into Hanford’s second melter. (Photo: Bechtel National)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management recently announced that crews at the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, recently brought the second of two 300-ton melters up to the operating temperature of 2,100°F.

WIPP marks 25 years of TRU waste operations

April 3, 2024, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
A screen shot of a video marking the 25th anniversary of operations at the WIPP disposal facility. (Image: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management celebrated a major milestone for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant last week, marking the 25th anniversary of the receipt of the first waste shipment at the disposal facility in New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert.

DOE again awards $45 billion Hanford tank contract to H2C

March 4, 2024, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant. (Photo: Bechtel National)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management once again awarded a 10-year, $45 billion contract to Hanford Tank Waste Operations and Closure (H2C) of Lynchburg, Va., for the cleanup of tank waste at the Hanford Site.

DOE issues final RFP for Portsmouth/Paducah support services contract

February 28, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

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

Startup heaters installed in Hanford’s second waste melter

February 15, 2024, 12:04PMRadwaste Solutions
One of 18 startup heaters is installed in Hanford’s second melter, which will be used to vitrify liquid waste. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced that crews at the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, recently installed 18 temporary startup heaters in the second of two melters in the plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility.

Largest of West Valley’s waste tanks removed during demolition

February 8, 2024, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project prepare a large tank for loading after removing it from a liquid waste cell of the Main Plant Process Building. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and its cleanup contractor at the West Valley Demonstration Project have removed the largest of nine tanks from a liquid waste cell as part of the ongoing demolition of the Main Plant Process Building, the office announced on February 6.

WIPP reaches 10-year high in TRU waste shipments

February 5, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A waste transport delivery truck heads for the WIPP site in New Mexico. In 2023, the repository saw its best shipment performance in 10 years. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced last week that, for calendar year 2023, the department’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) had its best shipment performance in 10 years, having received 489 transuranic (TRU) waste shipments from generator sites throughout the country. For comparison, WIPP received only 272 shipments in 2022.

DOE-EM releases 2024 cleanup priorities

February 1, 2024, 3:22PMRadwaste Solutions
Click to expand to see all priorities. (Image: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has released its program priorities for calendar year 2024, covering key cleanup actions, project construction, acquisition, and other important activities that will further the office’s mission of addressing the environmental legacy of the nation’s nuclear research and weapons development.

Mining of new waste disposal panel begins at WIPP

January 25, 2024, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
A continuous miner machine cuts into salt rock as mining begins on Panel 11, one of WIPP’s next waste disposal panels. (Photo: DOE)

For the first time in a decade, crews have started mining a new disposal panel at the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico, the nation’s deep geologic waste repository for defense-related transuranic waste.

DOE sets 2024 cleanup goals for Oak Ridge

January 10, 2024, 3:59PMRadwaste Solutions
Oak Ridge crews will begin demolition of the 325,000-sqaure-foot Alpha-2 facility this year, marking the first teardown of a former uranium enrichment facility at Y-12. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy announced that its Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) is moving ahead with a slate of projects this year that will alter the Tennessee site’s skyline, remove inventories of nuclear waste, and complete a major phase of cleanup.

DOE issues draft RFQ for Hanford clean energy initiative

December 22, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The DOE’s Hanford Site. (Image: Washington River Protection Solutions)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management issued for public comment the first request for qualifications (RFQ) related to the department’s Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative, which aims to increase energy production by making DOE land available for the potential development of carbon-free energy (CFE) electricity generation through leases.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.