INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
for the Department of Energy’s
Committee on Independent Assessment of Science and Technology for the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program
Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
This activity was supported by award DE-EM0001172/NAS Proposal Number 10003493 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-48775-7
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-48775-7
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25338
Cover: This report identifies seven types of technologies and alternative approaches that have the potential to substantially reduce long-term cleanup costs; accelerate cleanup schedules; and mitigate uncertainties, vulnerabilities, or risks, or otherwise significantly improve the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program for former nuclear weapons sites. These technologies and alternative approaches are posed as “knobs” that can be “turned” through a properly organized and focused science and technology development and deployment effort.
Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.
Copyright 2019 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Independent Assessment of Science and Technology for the Department of Energy’s Defense Environmental Cleanup Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25338.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.
The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.
The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.
Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.
Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.
Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.
For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.
COMMITTEE ON INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S DEFENSE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP PROGRAM
PATRICIA J. CULLIGAN (Chair), Columbia University, New York, New York
M. JOHN PLODINEC (Vice Chair), Community and Regional Resilience Institute, Aiken, South Carolina
SUE B. CLARK, Washington State University/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington
PAUL T. DICKMAN, Argonne National Laboratories, Washington, DC
BARBARA L. HAMRICK, University of California, Irvine
ROBERT T. JUBIN, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
WILLIAM LEE, Imperial College London/Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom
ALEXANDRA NAVROTSKY, University of California, Davis
JAMES A. RISPOLI, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
REBECCA A. ROBBINS, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
ROBIN D. ROGERS, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
POL D. SPANOS, Rice University, Houston, Texas
OURANIA KOSTI, Study Director
KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Senior Advisor
TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate
MICHAEL B. HUDSON, Senior Program Assistant
JORGE MENDOZA-TORRES, Senior Research Librarian
NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD
GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS (Chair), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus), Los Angeles, California
JAMES A. BRINK (Vice Chair), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
STEVEN M. BECKER, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
AMY BERRINGTON DE GONZÁLEZ, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
DAVID J. BRENNER, Columbia University, New York, New York
MARGARET S. Y. CHU, M.S. Chu + Associates, LLC, New York, New York
TISSA H. ILLANGASEKARE, Colorado School of Mines, Golden
CAROL M. JANTZEN, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina
NANCY JO NICHOLAS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico
HENRY D. ROYAL, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
DANIEL O. STRAM, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
WILLIAM H. TOBEY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
SERGEY V. YUDINTSEV, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
CHARLES D. FERGUSON, Director
JENNIFER HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer
OURANIA KOSTI, Senior Program Officer
KEVIN D. CROWLEY, Senior Advisor
TONI GREENLEAF, Administrative and Financial Associate
LAURA D. LLANOS, Administrative and Financial Associate
DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant
The successful completion of this study would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of many organizations and individuals. The committee would especially like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations and individuals for their support:
Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM), which sponsored the study and provided information on the office’s activities in support of technology development for the cleanup program. Ms. Beth Moore served ably as the agency’s liaison to the committee and was effective in coordinating, together with Mr. Rodrigo V. Rimando, Jr., the committee’s visits to DOE sites. Mr. Rimando also responded to the committee’s numerous requests for information related to the DOE-EM Technology Development Office’s processes for selecting and prioritizing technologies for development and deployment. He remained flexible and available to assist the committee with information gathering and fact checking despite his transfer to another position within DOE-EM in October 2018. The committee and staff applaud his professionalism and commitment during the study process.
DOE’s Hanford, Idaho, Oak Ridge, Portsmouth, and Savannah River sites for hosting the committee’s visits and for providing information on the sites’ cleanup work and associated challenges, science and technology applications and needs, and available resources. Special thanks are given to the following individuals for organizing the committee’s site visits and for lining up the experts to brief the committee: Ms. Elaine Diaz, Dr. Vicky Freedman, Ms. Naomi Jaschke, and Ms. Karen Sinclair for the site visit to Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Mr. Joel Case and Ms. Danielle
Miller for the site visit to Idaho; Ms. Staci Monroe, Ms. Elizabeth Phillips, and Dr. Eric Pierce for the site visit to Oak Ridge; Ms. Elizabeth Scott for the site visit to Portsmouth; and Mr. Andrew Fellinger and Mr. Tony Polk for the site visit to Savannah River. The committee also thanks the site DOE representatives, contractors, and other support staff listed in Appendix D, who briefed the committee.
Stakeholders of the Hanford, Idaho, Oak Ridge, Portsmouth, and Savannah River sites who provided presentations or comments on their role in selecting technologies considered for development or deployment at the sites.
Other individuals and invited participants who provided information and support for this study. Their names are listed in Appendix D.
The committee also thanks staff at the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NRSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) for organizing and facilitating this study. Study director Dr. Ourania Kosti organized the committee meetings and site visits and assisted the committee with collecting the information it needed to write its report. Ms. Toni Greenleaf and Mr. Michael Hudson managed the logistics of the meetings, report review, and publication. NRSB director Dr. Charles Ferguson escorted a small group of committee members during the site visit to Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
The committee and the study director are indebted to Dr. Kevin Crowley, advisor to the NRSB (and former NRSB director), who provided valuable technical and policy insights throughout the study as well as valuable historical perspectives on the DOE-EM science and technology program and the National Academies’ work to advise DOE-EM. Dr. Crowley was also instrumental in assisting the committee with report writing and review.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Drs. George Hornberger, Vanderbilt University, and Cindy Atkins-Duffin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the
standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
This page intentionally left blank.
|ARPA-E||Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy|
|CERCLA||Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act|
|CRESP||Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation|
|D&D||decontamination and demolition (DOE-EM usage) or decontamination and decommissioning (general usage)|
|DOE||Department of Energy|
|DOE-EM||Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management|
|DWPF||Defense Waste Processing Facility|
|EFCOG||Energy Facility Contractors Group|
|EMAB||Environmental Management Advisory Board|
|EPA||U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
|GAO||U.S. Government Accountability Office|
|HLW||high-level radioactive waste|
|INTEC||Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center|
|IPABS-IS||Integrated Planning, Accountability, and Budgeting System–Information System|
|IWTU||Integrated Waste Treatment Unit|
|NAS||National Academy of Sciences|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|NRSB||Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board|
|NSF||National Science Foundation|
|ORP||Office of River Protection|
|PNNL||Pacific Northwest National Laboratory|
|R&D||research and development|
|RL||Richland Operations Office|
|S&T||science and technology|
|SEAB||Secretary of Energy Advisory Board|
|SRS||Savannah River Site|
|SSAB||Site-Specific Advisory Board|
|TCCR||Tank Closure Cesium Removal|
|VOC||volatile organic compound|