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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges FIGURE F.1 The Oak Ridge Reservation includes over 30,000 acres within the city limits of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Massive facilities for enriching uranium were built in 1943. Site operations continue today in the East Tennessee Technology Park, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Oak Ridge National laboratory. SOURCE: Department of Energy.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges Appendix F Oak Ridge Reservation INTRODUCTION The National Research Council Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap held its second meeting in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on June 13-15, 2007. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain information relevant to the committee’s Statement of Task (SOT) through presentations and tours by Department of Energy (DOE) staff and their contractors.1 This appendix provides a factual summary of the information related to the four items in the committee’s SOT obtained during the meeting, the site visits, and documents provided to the committee. This appendix first describes the history and status of the DOE site at Oak Ridge to provide perspective on the range of cleanup issues being managed by the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM). The next sections summarize information presented to the committee, which guided the committee’s deliberations in addressing its SOT as described in the main text. This appendix thus provides support for the findings and recommendations developed by the committee. HISTORY The DOE’s activities in Oak Ridge are conducted on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) which encompasses 33,750 acres within the city limits of Oak Ridge. The ORR contains three major sites (Figure F.1): 1 The agenda for this meeting is shown in Appendix B.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), Y-12 National Security Complex, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The following sections briefly describe the history and status of these sites. This is followed by a short description of the structure and scope of the DOE EM cleanup program at the ORR. ETTP The ETTP, which was formerly called the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was constructed in 1943 to produce enriched uranium hexafluoride for defense purposes and later for nuclear power reactors. The Gaseous Diffusion Plant produced highly enriched uranium (HEU) until l964. It then switched to producing low-enriched uranium for use as fuel in commercial power reactors. In 1985 reduced demand resulted in the closing of the gaseous diffusion cascades. There remained an estimated 1.5 metric tons of HEU at the ETTP. Almost all of the HEU is contained in the K-25 Building at ETTP in the form of deposits on the internal surfaces of the shutdown processing equipment. All of the depleted uranium hexafluoride tails stored in cylinders have been moved to other sites. ETTP now serves as the center of operations for DOE’s Oak Ridge Environmental Management Program. The site is managed for DOE by Bechtel Jacobs. The site, approximately 13 miles west of downtown Oak Ridge, has nearly 500 facilities on about 2,200 acres and is the home of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator. Primary remediation concerns include uranium and volatile-organic-contaminated groundwater plumes and surface water, solid low-level waste burial grounds, and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of uranium-contaminated buildings having about 15 million square feet (~344 acres) under roof. Y-12 National Security Complex The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 National Security Complex is located in the Bear Creek Valley of East Tennessee immediately adjacent to the inhabited portion of Oak Ridge, Tennessee (population of 28,000), and about 15 miles from Knoxville. The site contains 811 acres, with some 500 buildings that house about 7 million square feet of laboratory, machining, dismantlement, and research and development (R&D) areas. The site boundary is 400 yards from the nearest Oak Ridge resident. The site is managed for DOE by B&W Y-12. The complex was constructed as part of the World War II Manhattan Project. Construction began in February 1943, and operations began in No-
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges vember of that year. The first site mission was the separation of uranium-235 from natural uranium by the electromagnetic separation process. In the years following World War II, Y-12 evolved into a high-precision manufacturing, assembly, and inspection facility while maintaining the nation’s uranium and lithium technology base. Y-12’s missions have expanded since the end of the Cold War and the ensuing easing of international tensions. The column exchange (COLEX) process that was operated at Y-12 to separate lithium isotopes used large quantities of elemental mercury. Lithium-6, separated from natural lithium by the COLEX process, was used to produce tritium for nuclear weapons. From 1950 to 1982 an estimated 2 million pounds of mercury at Y-12 were either lost to the environment or otherwise unaccounted for (EM Tour Book 2007). The current Y-12 mission includes: Production and rework of complex nuclear weapon components; Receipt, storage, and protection of special nuclear materials; Quality evaluation and enhanced surveillance of the nation's nuclear weapon stockpile; Dismantlement and disposition of weapon components; Prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction; and Support to DOE, other federal agencies, and other national priorities. Y-12 also applies its unique expertise, initially developed for highly specialized military purposes, to a wide range of manufacturing problems to support the capabilities of the U.S. industrial base. Y-12's all-inclusive expertise includes proceeding from concept, through detailed design and specification, to building prototypes and configuring integrated manufacturing processes. ORNL On February 2, 1943, ground was broken for Clinton Laboratories, or the X-10 site, as ORNL was then named. By summer, some 3,000 construction workers had erected about 150 buildings. The heart of the laboratory was an experimental reactor, a graphite cube 24 feet on each side with 7-foot-thick concrete walls for radiation shielding (far larger and more advanced than Fermi’s Chicago pile) for converting uranium into plutonium. The small quantities of plutonium produced were used by chemical engineers to determine how to extract and purify it on a large scale. Besides supplying experimental quantities of plutonium to the California researchers, the Graphite Reactor and its chemical-separation labs served as pilot-scale models for Hanford’s production plants.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges ORNL’s involvement with nuclear weapons ended after the war. During the 1950s and 1960s, ORNL became an international center for the study of nuclear energy, especially concerning the nuclear fuel cycle and waste management, and related research in the physical and life sciences. ORNL’s nuclear involvements included development of the COLEX process, which resulted in mercury losses to the environment at the ORNL site, and the production of radioisotopes for beneficial use. With the creation of DOE in the 1970s, ORNL’s mission broadened to include a variety of nonnuclear energy technologies and strategies. Today, ORNL is DOE’s largest science and energy laboratory. ORNL has six major mission roles: neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology, materials science at the nanoscale, and national security. ORNL is managed for DOE by a partnership of Battelle and the University of Tennessee (UT-Battelle). The ORNL site is approximately 10 miles southwest of downtown Oak Ridge and occupies about 2,900 acres. The ORNL site includes a variety of cleanup challenges: solid low-level waste burial grounds and pits, surface impoundments, Molten Salt Reactor D&D, Core Hole 8 groundwater plume, hydrofracture facility sites, gunite and associated tanks, mercury, buried transuranic waste, and degraded isotope production facilities. ORR Cleanup Program Structure and Scope The EM cleanup program for the ORR is managed by the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office (ORO) and implemented by Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC (BJC) and EnergX, which took over operation of the Transuranic Waste Processing Center in 2006.2 An Advisory Board, composed of citizen volunteers, provides input on the Oak Ridge cleanup program. The goal of the program is to complete all cleanups within the scope of the program by 2015. There are features of the ORR cleanup that make it particularly complex: With the two specific exceptions noted above, BJC performs cleanup activities at all three sites on the ORR while other site activities at Y-12 and ORNL are implemented by different contractors; ORNL has a number of facilities needing cleanup at the Y-12 site; and There are 439 facilities (about 5.3 million square feet of floor space) at ORNL and Y-12 needing cleanup that are not included in the scope of the current EM cleanup program. Of these facilities, 222 are not 2 A request for proposals for transuranic waste stabilization at ORNL was issued as a Small Business Set Aside in FY 2009.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges the responsibility of EM, but instead of the DOE Offices of Science and Nuclear Energy, and the National Nuclear Security Administration. ORO has proposed a new Integrated Facility Disposition Project to address the facilities not included in the ongoing cleanup program. The project is estimated to cost $5 billion to $8 billion (unescalated dollars) and take 26 years depending on available funding. CLEANUP TECHNOLOGY GAPS IDENTIFIED FOR THE ORR Technology gaps presented in this section are based on presentations and discussions during the committee’s March 2007 workshop and its site visit to Oak Ridge in June 2007. They are organized according to the program areas in the draft EM Roadmap presented to the committee in November 2007. Program Area: Waste Processing The EM roadmap’s program area “waste processing” includes mainly high-level waste (HLW) issues. Despite the Oak Ridge site’s early production of experimental amounts of plutonium, it never reprocessed nuclear fuels on the large scales of Hanford, Idaho, and Savannah River. Oak Ridge did not report any HLW-related issues at the workshop or during the committee’s site visit. Relevant to HLW tank cleaning at other sites, Oak Ridge completed cleaning eight concrete-walled (gunite) tanks in 2001. The tanks were constructed during the Manhattan Project in 1943 and used until the early 1970s. Importantly, Oak Ridge participants at the committee’s March 2007 workshop reported that closeout of the gunite tanks was a good example of how innovative technologies could be used to tackle difficult cleanup problems. They reported that the cleanout was a test bed for over 100 technologies, including concrete scabbling, scraping, and robotics. The use of these technologies allowed the site to empty and grout the tanks more than a decade ahead of schedule. The gunite tank project was the first of its kind to be completed in the United States (NRC 2007). All together 65 inactive tanks were closed from 1995 to 2007. One inactive tank, W-1A, is scheduled to be remediated in the 2009-2010 period. Twenty currently active tanks may become candidates for future cleaning and closure (Van Hoesen 2007). Oak Ridge does not consider these to be HLW tanks (EM Tour Book 2007). While Oak Ridge reported no HLW issues, a summary presentation noted four R&D or technology needs that fall in the general area of waste characterization and processing (Van Hoesen 2007):
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges Nondestructive analysis and examination technology for transuranic (TRU) wastes with high neutron activity—ORNL has more TRU wastes that require remote handling (RH-TRU) than any other site in the DOE complex, Processes for treating low-level liquid waste for disposal after shutdown of the existing centralized treatment capability, Disposition of wastes with no current path for disposition, and Mobile waste mixing and retrieval systems for small tanks. Program Area: Groundwater and Soil Remediation Oak Ridge faces significant challenges related to buried waste, subsurface contamination, and soil and groundwater remediation. There is buried waste at ORNL, Y-12, and ETTP. Contaminated surface water, groundwater, sediments, and soils were reported at ORNL, Y-12, ETTP, and, with the exception of contaminated groundwater, at some offsite locations (EM Tour Book 2007). Mercury is a significant challenge. During production of nuclear weapon materials from 1950 to 1982 an estimated 2 million pounds of mercury at Y-12 were either lost to the environment or otherwise unaccounted for (EM Tour Book 2007). Some of the mercury has reached the East Fork Poplar Creek floodplain downstream of Y-12. Mercury levels in the creek have been reduced to below drinking water limits. However, mercury remains a concern because of its concentration in fish and aquatic life is increasing. Y-12 continues to be a source of mercury (EM Tour Book 2007). DOE has installed a system that treats water from a spring at Y-12 to remove mercury as the water comes to the surface. This Big Spring Water Treatment System has halved mercury discharges from Y-12 from 8 to 4 kg per year (Munger 2007). However, the future release of contaminants to the groundwater and to surface waters during D&D is a concern. D&D actions such as turning off sump pumps and removing physical barriers (foundation slabs) can release contaminants. In addition D&D activities can alter the currently prevailing geology/hydrology and release pockets of contaminants (Phillips 2007). During the committee’s visit, Oak Ridge described significant science and technology (S&T) challenges related to mercury. Efforts to reduce concentrations of waterborne mercury in East Fork Poplar Creek at Y-12 may not reduce methylmercury in fish to safe levels. Additionally, some fish in White Oak Creek at ORNL exceed state and EPA fish-tissue concentration thresholds for mercury. There is need to identify the source and physical and chemical forms of mercury reaching the creeks, identify transport pathways and mechanisms, and design an effective treatment system (Phil-
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges lips 2007). Although presenters identified these challenges, the committee received no information about studies that would address them. In addition to mercury, there is extensive contamination of groundwater beneath the industrial areas of the Y-12 site by uranium and other metals, solvents, and some radioisotopes. Sources of contamination are not well known and the complex subsurface geology makes it difficult to identify flow paths (NRC 2007). Especially significant are some 40 million pounds of uranium buried in trenches on the site. Unless removed, this uranium will require perpetual monitoring (NRC 2007). Much of the uranium is pyrophoric, which complicates remediation. DOE has used a continuous pump-and-treat system at the east end of Y-12 to keep an underground plume of carbon tetrachloride from spreading further. Water is pumped to the surface, treated, and then released into a nearby creek. This is a large plume that is evidently being fed from an underground source of the carbon tetrachloride. The treatment system has not eliminated the source or significantly reduced the concentration of carbon tetrachloride in the plume, but it has been effective in limiting the plume’s offsite migration (Munger 2007). According to a site presentation, for many of the plumes there are no technologies that can effectively remediate volatile organic compounds in the fractured bedrock. The groundwater is aerobic; therefore, reductive dechlorination is not feasible. Where there are no unacceptable risks and where contaminated groundwater will not migrate off the site at above drinking water limits, Oak Ridge is investigating the requirements to apply for Technical Impracticability (TI) waivers (Phillips 2007). However, according to the presentation, decisions that include long-duration monitored natural attenuation and/or TI waivers are difficult for regulators to accept (Phillips 2007). To support a TI waiver at ETTP, Oak Ridge listed a need for experts with experience in developing and demonstrating the rational for the TI of remediation in hydrogeological systems like that of the site (Phillips 2007). Bechtel-Jacobs, DOE’s cleanup contractor, recently completed the capping of 145 acres in Melton Valley where ORNL buried radioactive waste for over 40 years (B-J Tour Book 2007; and Van Hoesen 2007). Such caps and other engineered controls will require monitoring for decades (Phillips 2007). Another area that may require remediation is associated with Core Hole 8. The name refers to an area of groundwater contamination located in the central portion of ORNL. The soil became contaminated through a leak from a broken pipe at the inlet to Tank W-1A, a tank containing highly radioactive TRU waste. A plume emanates from the contaminated soil and goes into First Creek (EM Tour Book 2007) in the center of the main ORNL site.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges Since 1994, DOE has implemented various actions to minimize the release of contaminants to the creek. The interior of Tank W-1A has been cleaned, but the contaminated soil and groundwater remain. Remediation of the tank and contaminated soil and groundwater will be addressed under future Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act actions starting in FY 2009 and to be completed by 2011 (EM Tour Book 2007). Such remediation will be challenging because of the combination of depth and high radiation levels. Oak Ridge provided the following prioritized summary of its groundwater and soil remediation technology needs (Phillips 2007): Support for a TI waiver for ETTP; Pyrophoric materials (i.e., metallic uranium) in Trench 13 at Melton Valley; Sources, transport, and treatment of mercury-contaminated water; Reduction of mercury in fish via source treatment; Evaluation of natural attenuation processes for treatment of groundwater plumes; Release of subsurface contaminants during D&D work; In situ treatment alternatives for mercury-contaminated soils; Characterization of contamination sources under storm drains; Phytoremediation for mercury remediation and monitoring of East Fork Poplar Creek; In-situ remediation of pyrophoric materials at the Bear Creek Valley Burial Grounds; Viability of large-scale treatment of mercury-contaminated water; and Performance assessment, monitoring, and verification of technologies to support risk-based end states. Program Area: D&D and Facility Engineering The ORR contains hundreds of facilities that will eventually need to be deactivated and decommissioned (NRC 2007). Most of the 202 facilities at ORNL in the current EM baseline slated for demolition are reactors, laboratory facilities with hot cells, and their associated support facilities (EM Tour Book 2007). Some buildings are in poor structural condition, many contain worker hazards (e.g., high radiation fields >100 rads/hour and chemical and biological contamination), and some are located near occupied buildings or populated areas. In some facilities, equipment, piping, and duct work contain pyrophoric and other hazardous materials (e.g., mercury and lithium hydroxide). Many of these facilities have already been deactivated and do not have water or process waste lines. At present, EM
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges is spending about $10 million per year for surveillance of facilities at the site and may have to spend additional monies just to make the facilities safe enough for workers to decommission (NRC 2007). The removal of transite siding was presented to the committee as likely being the site’s biggest D&D challenge (McCracken 2007). D&D work will involve removal of over a million square feet of these asbestos-containing panels. These transite panels are being handled and treated as nonfriable asbestos capable of becoming friable, and are therefore being removed manually one panel at a time. The current baseline removal method uses one to two laborers in a man-lift to manually remove the bolts holding the transite in place, lift the panel onto a saddle in the man-lift, and lower the panel to the ground; see Chapter 2, Figure 2.10. According to DOE, if the panels could be pulled down with a grappling arm and allowed to fall to the ground, which is done with most other building materials, much time and cost could be saved, and the safety hazards associated with manually handling these heavy panels—many are high and difficult to reach—could be eliminated. One need cited by Oak Ridge is a study to review the regulatory drivers compelling the current baseline, including an evaluation of the science that went into the requirements to treat transite as potentially friable asbestos. Another alternative would be development and demonstration of an efficient, cost-effective, remotely operated tool for transite removal (Summary Sheet 2007). The Alpha 4 facility at Y-12 is a 600,000-square-foot, transite-covered, structural steel and concrete facility with three floors and a subbasement. Alpha 4 was used until 1962 for a process to separate lithium-6 from lithium-7. The scope of the remediation project is to demolish the facility. Work includes eliminating classification concerns; gathering additional building characterization data to support preparation of a well-defined scope of work to allow the D&D to be subcontracted; completing hazardous materials abatement to remove asbestos, mercury, and solidified lithium compounds; deactivating utilities; and removing equipment (EM Tour Book 2007). Beryllium was used extensively at the ORR and is present in numerous facilities that are slated to be demolished, especially at Y-12. It is a significant inhalation hazard, causing respiratory inflammation at low concentrations and permanent lung damage at high concentrations. Some workers are especially sensitive to beryllium. Current techniques for measuring beryllium in air involve sampling for laboratory analysis, which can take days to produce results. The site needs real-time, field-deployable beryllium monitors that provide accurate measurements at picogram levels. Such monitors do not exist at present, and their development is an important site technology need (NRC 2007).
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges The ORR has other technology needs to improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of D&D activities at the site (NRC 2007): Remote characterization technologies and technical approaches for cleanup of highly contaminated, deteriorated structures that have confined spaces or are otherwise unsafe for human entry, for example, the thousands of miles of piping in the gaseous diffusion facilities that contain uranium deposits. In addition, sensors are needed for making accurate, real-time measurements in extremely high radiation fields. There may be technologies outside of DOE that could be applied at the site. Decontamination technologies and tools, including cost-effective remote decontamination processes and robotics technologies; dry decontamination technologies that can be used to remove high levels of contamination with minimal secondary wastes; decision tools for determining optimal decontamination approaches; and technologies and approaches for removal of equipment containing high levels of radioactive and hazardous contamination. Demolition technologies and tools for understanding, predicting, and preventing the release of contaminants during facility demolition; technologies and approaches for real-time monitoring during facility demolition; and technologies and approaches for demolition of highly contaminated structures near operating facilities and populated areas. The demolition of tall (>100 foot [30 meter]), highly contaminated off-gas stacks is a good example of the site’s demolition challenges. These stacks are too contaminated internally and too close to operating facilities to be knocked down. Dismantling them brick-by-brick would be expensive and potentially hazardous to workers. Program Area: DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel Oak Ridge did not include DOE legacy fuel rod assemblies among its EM cleanup challenges. Presenters did describe challenges in removing salt containing uranium-235 remaining in a reactor used to test molten salt as an alternative reactor fuel. The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) operated from 1965 to 1969. Following operation of the reactor, preparations were completed for long-term storage of the fuel, which was drained into two tanks. Beginning in 1987 and culminating in 1994, surveillance detected a migration of radioactivity from the tanks to other process lines. In 1998 a Record of Decision was approved for removal of fuel and flush salts. Testing of fuel and salt removal equipment was completed in FY 2003. Processing of the initial flush salt tank was completed in June
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges 2005. Processing of fuel drain tank 2 was started in December 2005, but operations were halted in May due to a fluorine release. Recovery activities are in progress. The MSRE is a high-priority project to be completed by 2011 (EM Tour Book 2007), but there do not appear to be any additional R&D needs. Program Area: Challenging Materials Challenging materials include legacy waste materials for which DOE has not defined a disposition pathway. Oak Ridge reported an inventory of about 140,000 curies of actinide isotopes (Pu, Am-241 and Am-243, Cm-244 and Cm-248, Bk-249, Cf-252, and Es-253) that were orphaned in Building 7920 of ORNL’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) when the Office of Science ended support for heavy-element work. The orphaned inventory also includes some 340,000 curies of mixed activation and fission products (Michaels 2007). The Building 7920 hot cell facilities began operation in 1966. There was support for heavy-element research from DOE and its predecessors until 2006. Starting in 2007 the hot cells housed an integrated spent fuel processing demonstration for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) supported by the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (Michaels 2007). ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) produced much of the orphan actinide inventory. The HFIR itself uses beryllium neutron reflectors that become orphan waste when they are replaced. These reflectors are designated as TRU waste, but because they did not originate in a defense program they cannot be disposed in DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, which is designated for defense TRU waste. LEVERAGING, COMMUNICATION, AND IMPLEMENTATION In the mid-1990s some 30-40 percent of ORNL funding was from EM—roughly $208 million out of a total budget of $540 million. In 2007 EM funding made up only about 1.5 percent—about $15 million out of a total budget of $1,020 million (Michaels 2007). According to the presenter, the laboratory successfully transitioned away from EM, grew ORNL’s science and technology business in other areas, and retained much of its nuclear processing and nuclear facility expertise (Michaels 2007). There was little explicit discussion about how EM might leverage or utilize ORNL’s nuclear expertise. Nonetheless, some potential opportunities were evident in other presentations. The laboratory overview noted that ORNL is “looking at nature in new ways” and is “working across scales to solve environmental challenges” (Roberto 2007). This new look at nature
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges includes study of complex systems at multiple scales in space, time, and biological levels. The new look was also said to test and integrate ecosystems, observations and data, and advanced simulations (Roberto 2007). A follow-up presentation (Jacobs 2007) provided an EM-relevant example of multiple-scale biogeochemistry with field-scale emphasis. This approach encompasses: Fundamental science supported by the DOE Office of Science, including: subsurface biogeochemical dynamics, and uranium and an emerging mercury focus. Applied R&D supported by EM and site funding, including: biological monitoring of remediation performance, and ecological restoration. Related research not supported by DOE, including: bioavailability of metals in soils, groundwater plumes (chlorinated organics), perchlorate fate, transport, and treatment, threatened and endangered species, and remediation site support at Dover AFB, Delaware, and Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Non-DOE sponsors of the above research include the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), DOD installations, and industry (Jacobs 2007). POTENTIALLY RELEVANT CAPABILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE Field Research Center (FRC) The FRC supports the DOE Office of Science’s Environmental Remediation Sciences Program goal of understanding the complex physical, chemical, and biological properties of contaminated sites. In particular, the FRC promotes understanding of the processes that influence the transport and fate of subsurface contaminants, the effectiveness and long-term consequences of existing remediation options, and the development of improved remediation strategies. It includes a series of contaminated and uncontaminated sites in which investigators and students conduct field research or collect samples for laboratory analysis. FRC research also encourages the development of new and improved characterization and monitoring tools (FRC Brochure 2000). The stated objectives of FRC research are to (1) quantify recharge
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges pathways and other hydraulic drivers for groundwater flow and dilution of contaminants along flow pathways and determine how they change temporally and spatially during episodic events, seasonally, and long term; (2) determine the rates and mechanisms of coupled hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological processes that control the natural attenuation of contaminants in highly diverse subsurface environments and over scales ranging from molecules to watersheds; (3) explore strategies for enhancing the subsurface stability of immobilized metals and radionuclides; (4) understand the long-term impacts of geochemical and hydrologic heterogeneity on the remobilization of immobilized radionuclides; and (5) improve the ability to predict the long-term effectiveness of remedial activities and natural attenuation processes that control subsurface contaminant behavior across a variety of scales. The FRC was said to be vital to the ORR groundwater strategy and groundwater Record of Decision in 2015 (Phillips 2007). Hot Cell Facilities ORNL has built and operated some 36 nuclear hot cell buildings onsite. Their uses have included: Nuclear fuel reprocessing R&D, Nuclear reactor fuels and materials R&D, Radioisotope production and applications, and The Office of Science’s heavy-element program. Today ORNL is consolidating this work into four facilities, which were built prior to 1970. Any future EM work with highly radioactive wastes or other materials at Oak Ridge can be done in one of these facilities (Michaels 2007). The REDC includes two facilities, Building 7920 and Building 7930. Building 7920 houses an inventory of orphaned actinide isotopes, which was described in the Challenging Materials section of this appendix. Building 7930, designed to be used as a pilot-scale reprocessing plant, was completed in 1967. This building includes seven hot cells. Three hot cells are essentially free of contamination, one is being used for high radiation and contamination work, and three are unused or used for storage. The Irradiated Fuel Examination Lab (Building 3525) was constructed in 1963. This facility and General Electric’s Vallecitos facility are the only two U.S. hot cell facilities capable of accepting full-length light-water reactor fuel for destructive examination. It was used for material packaging for EM from 1999 to 2003. Its current and future missions include GNEP support and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s fuels test program. The Irradiated Metals Examination Test Facility (Building 3025e), con-
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges structed in 1950 remains a state-of-the-art facility for metallurgical testing of irradiated metals. The facility includes six hot cells. It has a number of ongoing programs, none of which are supported by EM. TSCA Incinerator Oak Ridge’s incinerator at the ETTP site is the only incinerator in the DOE complex permitted to burn chemical waste that is subject to TSCA or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as well as radioactive liquids and solids. Absent the incinerator, disposition of these wastes would be difficult for EM. The facility has operated since 1991 and has incinerated more than 30 million pounds of radioactive polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and hazardous wastes from the ORR and out-of-state DOE facilities. Although the incinerator was originally scheduled to be shut down at the end of September 2003, plans now are for the facility to remain open through FY 2009 to help EM meet the demand for treatment of low-level radioactive waste containing PCBs and other hazardous materials (EM Tour Book 2007). REFERENCES B-J Tour Book. 2007. Tour of DOE Oak Ridge Office. Environmental Management Cleanup Sites. Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC. April. EM Tour Book. 2007. National Research Council Tour of Current and Completed EM Projects. Oak Ridge, TN: Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Operations Office, June 13. FRC Brochure. 2000. Overview of the Oak Ridge Field Research Center. Handout to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, June 13. Contact David Watson. Jacobs, G.J. 2007. Contaminant fate and transport research at ORNL. Presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 13. McCracken, S. 2007. Oak Ridge EM Science and Technology Plans and Challenges. Working lunch presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,Oak Ridge, TN, June 14. Michaels, G. 2007. ORNL Nuclear Hot Cell Facilities. Presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 13. Munger, F. 2007. Nuclear cleanup showing promise. KnoxNews, June 4. Available at http://www.knoxnews.com. NRC (National Research Council). 2007. Science and Technology Needs for DOE Site Cleanup: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Phillips, E. 2007. Groundwater remediation on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 13. Roberto, J.B. 2007. Overview of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 13.
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Advice on the Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges Summary Sheet. 2007. Oak Ridge Technology Summary Sheet. Improved Method for Transite Removal. Handout to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 14. Van Hoesen, S.D. 2007. EM status, Integrated Facility Disposition Project (IFDP), and R&D/technology needs. Presentation to the Committee on Development and Implementation of a Cleanup Technology Roadmap, Oak Ridge Nation al Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, June 13.