Below are articles and other news published since the last West Valley Citizen Task Force Meeting. They relate to the West Valley Demonstration Project, nuclear waste cleanup or are otherwise relevant or of potential interest to stakeholders interested in the Project. After each Citizen Task Force Meeting, these articles are compiled into a single document and may be found with the meeting materials for that month.
Springville/Ellicottville Pennysaver – WVDP participates in exercise to prepare for emergency incidents
November 9, 2019 – The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management and CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, its cleanup contractor at the West Valley Demonstration Project, recently conducted a full-scale exercise that included Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, Cattaraugus County Special Response Team, Cattaraugus- Chautauqua Bomb Squad, West Valley Volunteer Hose Fire and Rescue, and evaluation assistance from Cattaraugus County Emergency Services.
This exercise, which was based on a hypothetical incident, tested the skills and response of these local agencies as well as the site’s Radiological Controls Department, Environmental Department, Emergency Medical Response Team, Security Force and Operational Response Team. Link to article
Springville Times -WVDP safely demolishes inactive ventilation system
November 8, 2019 – Crews recently demolished two Waste Tank Farm condenser structures and its equipment shelter at the West Valley Demonstration Project. Link to article
Springville Journal – West Valley safely demolishes inactive ventilation system structures and components
November 7, 2019 – Crews recently demolished two waste tank farm condenser structures and its equipment shelter at the West Valley Demonstration Project. These structures were associated with the main plant process building’s former ventilation system, which was taken out of service in 2001. This recent demolition brings EM’s total number of structures removed at West Valley to 64.
WVDP personnel removed, size‐reduced and packaged the two condenser structures for offsite disposal. Each condenser contained two heat exchangers that cooled the off‐gas and condensed the vapor. Each 360‐square feet structure was constructed in 1966 to remove water vapor from the tank off‐gas ventilation system and was further treated and filtered before being directed to the main plant process building stack. Link to article
DOE EM Update – DOE Highlights West Valleyʹs Best Practices in Stakeholder Communications
November 5, 2019 – Employees at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) Site routinely communicate their efforts to be good stewards of the environment to a variety of people, from stakeholders in the surrounding community to the site’s cleanup crews.
These robust, easy-to-understand communications — highlighted on WVDP’s website and social media, and in employee messages, newsletters, and meetings — have drawn positive feedback. An auditor on behalf of the International Organization for Standardization commended WVDP for its effective communication plan focused on keeping internal and external stakeholders informed of environmental work and cleanup progress. Link to Update
Energy Communities Alliance Update – 15 major EM contracts expiring in 2020
October 30, 2019 – Communities surrounding DOE sites are impacted in many ways whenever DOE begins a new contracting process. The approach to—and ultimate success of—these contracts is vital to the overall nuclear security and nuclear waste cleanup mission in the United States, the health and viability of the communities that host these sites, the strength of the future workforce, and the sustainability of businesses—both small and large—that take on these unique tasks. Contracts provide a basis for community members and Congress to gauge cleanup progress, which in turn can increase trust and confidence in the cleanup.
ECA communities at all of DOE’s sites continue to ask the Office of Environmental Management (EM) for regular briefings on the timing of the contracts. Each contract delay impacts the community and adds uncertainty for the workers, local governments and their budgets, and small businesses who may serve as subcontractors. ECA has advocated for contracts to include community engagement requirements, emphasize longer-term contracts (five years versus three years with two one-year options), and include community cleanup priorities clearly in the contract scope. Link to Update