SRS CELEBRATES CLOSURE OF TWO ADDITIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE TANKS

An agreement between the Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) required the operational closure of Tanks 18 and 19 by December 2012. Both tanks underwent extensive waste removal that included waste removal, specialized mechanical cleaning, and working to isolate the tanks from all external systems, all leading to regulatory confirmation that the tanks were ready for stabilization.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Builds on Success to Accelerate TRU Waste Shipping

Building on the success of the first year of an accelerated waste shipping campaign, Los Alamos National Laboratory will use a data-driven approach to more than double the amount of waste shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 2013.

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MITIGATION OF HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM IN STORMWATER DEMOLITION OF K-33 LEADS TO CONTAMINATED CONCRETE DEBRIS

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding was provided to supplement the environmental management program at several Department of Energy (DOE) sites, including the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Demolition of the ETTP K-33 Building, the largest building to be demolished to date in Oak Ridge, was awarded to LATA-Sharp Remediation Services (LSRS) in FY2010 under the ARRA program. The K-33 building was an 82-foot-tall, two-story structure covering approximately 32 acres. Once this massive building was brought down to the ground, the debris was segregated and consolidated into piles of concrete rubble and steel across the remaining pad. The process of demolishing the building, tracking across concrete debris with heavy equipment, and stockpiling the concrete rubble caused the rubble to become pulverized. During and after storm events, hexavalent chromium leached from the residual cement present in the large quantities of concrete. Stormwater control measures were present to preclude migration of contaminants off-site, but these control measures were not designed to control hexavalent chromium that had been dissolved in stormwater from reaching nearby receiving water.

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PERSPECTIVES ON FUKUSHIMA

It is easy to come in to a situation like this with a judging eye. It is more difficult to take a step back, realize our limitations, and refocus with empathetic eyes.

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Yucca Mountain’s Future

The Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer expects a federal appeals court in December to direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to continue the licensing process for the controversial Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

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