Environmental Remediation

DOE-EM finishes cleanup of legacy Oak Ridge reactor lab site

May 3, 2024, 1:25PMRadwaste Solutions
UCOR employees use a crane to load the Low Intensity Test Reactor vessel for transport to its final disposition location in Clive, Utah. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced that the 30-foot-long, 37,600-pound reactor vessel from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Low Intensity Test Reactor was shipped to EnergySolutions’ low-level radioactive waste facility in Clive, Utah, in late April.

EPA issues final rule regulating “forever chemicals”

April 24, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it will issue a rule aimed at limiting public exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The final rule will designate two widely used PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund.

According to the EPA, both PFOA and PFOS meet the statutory criteria for designation as hazardous substances.

Cattle industry poised to lead the way to a cooler Earth

April 16, 2024, 3:04PMNuclear NewsJames Conca
Methane emissions from cows are surprisingly important as a greenhouse gas. (Photo: Martin Abegglen)

In discussing how to counter global warming, it’s pretty easy to argue that nuclear should be the major electricity source and heat producer to replace fossil fuels. At 6 grams per kilowatt-hour, it has the lowest carbon emissions of any energy source, according to the United Nations, and is objectively the safest form of energy for humans and the environment alike, again from a recent UN report.

DOE eyes WIPP site for potential clean energy projects

February 29, 2024, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy has issued a request for information (RFI) to identify industry partners interested in developing commercial clean energy projects at the DOE’s at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeast New Mexico.

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.

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.

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'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.”

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.

Portsmouth Site tests radiation-detecting drone

November 2, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
A radiation detection drone was tested at the Portsmouth site in southern Ohio. (Photo: DOE)

Through a collaborative effort between the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the state of Ohio, a drone outfitted with radiation detectors underwent testing recently at the site of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant for potential future use.

DOE issues additional Cleanup to Clean Energy RFIs

October 20, 2023, 9:32AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy has released two additional requests for information related to its Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative, which aims to repurpose certain DOE-owned lands—portions of which were previously used during the nation’s nuclear weapons program—into sites for clean energy generation, including include solar, geothermal, wind, and nuclear electricity.

DOE-EM lacks clear view of operating costs, GAO says

October 4, 2023, 9:51AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, which is responsible for the cleanup of 15 nuclear sites across the country, lacks a clear understanding of its costs for work not directly related to site cleanup, hampering the department’s ability to prioritize competing funding needs, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

EPA adds Oklahoma’s Fansteel Metals site to National Priorities List

September 13, 2023, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions

The Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it is adding Oklahoma’s Fansteel Metals/FMRI Superfund site to the National Priorities List. The list includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination and serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions.

Draft RFP issued for $3 billion West Valley cleanup contract

September 1, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A West Valley ancillary support building is demolished in 2018. (Photo: DOE/CH2M Hill–BWXT West Valley)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has issued a draft request for proposal for a contract covering the next phase of cleanup at the West Valley Demonstration Project in western New York.

Former plutonium processing facility at Hanford coming down

August 28, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Work crews remove old infrastructure near the Hanford Site’s Cold War–era PUREX plant. (Photo: DOE)

Demolition is underway on several former chemical storage tanks and associated infrastructure near the Plutonium Uranium Extraction (PUREX) plant, the final and most advanced chemical separations facility at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce receives DOE grant

June 6, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Paducah site. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has awarded a $2 million grant to the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce for its work in considering the possible future uses of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site in Kentucky. The project will consist of site mapping, community studies, data analysis, and development of recommended strategies.

DOE-EM outlines its cleanup goals for the coming decade

May 22, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has released its Strategic Vision 2023–2033, a blueprint of the office’s anticipated cleanup achievements over the next decade. DOE-EM said the strategic vision is focused on the priorities of addressing radioactive liquid tank waste, demolishing contaminated buildings, remediating contaminated soil and groundwater, and safely managing and disposing of waste.

“The Strategic Vision 2023–2033 is intended to help us gaze further out to a place we want to be in the future,” DOE-EM senior advisor William “Ike” White said. “It sets EM on a course that will span a decade and inspire us all to achieve EM’s vital nuclear cleanup mission.”

Feds, state reach agreement in Hanford cleanup negotiations

May 4, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Hanford Site’s B Complex area tank farm containing waste created during the production of plutonium at the site. (Photo: DOE)

After nearly three years of discussions and more than 60 mediation sessions, the Department of Energy, Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they have reached a conceptual agreement on revising plans for managing millions of gallons of waste stored in tanks at the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash.

Kewaunee to begin site restoration work in tandem with reactor D&D

April 11, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Kewanee nuclear power plant is located along the shore of Lake Michigan. (Photo: EnergySolutions)

EnergySolutions subsidiary KewauneeSolutions is hoping to begin site restoration work at the closed Kewaunee nuclear power plant in Wisconsin later this year and has submitted a request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use the plant’s decommissioning trust fund to do so.