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.
DOE EM Update – West Valley Removes Acid Recovery Cell Airlock
October 20, 2020 – Demolition crews at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) recently demolished an acid recovery cell airlock and lift table. The cell was used in reprocessing, where processed liquids, such as acid, were recovered and filtered for reuse. This 100-square-foot structure was constructed in early 2009 to support asbestos-containing material abatement, decommissioning, and vessel removal from the cell. The airlock had a lift table that brought containers to the top of the acid recovery cell; waste containers were loaded and then lowered back down. A fork truck could then lift and remove the waste box out of the airlock. The photo at top shows the project underway, while the photo immediately above shows completion of the demolition. Link to update
Springville Journal – Police Reports
October 15, 2020 – At about 9:14 a.m., Donald J. Coller, 48, of McCalla, Alabama was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree after the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an incident on Rock Springs Road. Following an investigation, the CCSO reports Coller had a weapon inside of his vehicle when his vehicle attempted to make a delivery to the West Valley Nuclear Plant. Further investigation reportedly revealed Coller did not possess a valid concealed carry permit for the weapon. He was taken to the CCSO for processing where he was released on an appearance ticket for Ashford Town Court at a later date. Link to article
The Center Square – Former Tennessee uranium enrichment complex marks cleanup milestone
October 13, 2020 – Deconstruction and cleanup of the first former uranium enrichment complex in the world is complete, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced Tuesday at an event marking the historic cleanup milestone of the former K-25 site at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge.
Built secretly in the 1940s as part of the Manhattan Project, the campus once was home to a complex of facilities that enriched uranium for the world’s first atomic weapon. From 1945 to 1985, the plant produced enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy closed the site in 1987, and facilities fell into a dangerous state of disrepair. Link to article
DOE-EM Update – West Valley Encapsulates Slab, Protecting Employees and Environment
October 6, 2020 – A facility disposition crew at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) recently encapsulated a concrete foundation slab left following the demolition of a utility building. EM and cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley encapsulated the slab with a water-based coating that forms an impermeable barrier between hazardous or contaminated materials and the environment. The slab no longer presents an asbestos hazard following this work. This practice protects employees from the hazardous material, safeguards against unintended releases, and is required for any work involving asbestos. The former utility building was demolished in September 2020 and was the last ancillary support building to be removed prior to the demolition of the Main Plant Process Building, scheduled for 2021. EM has removed 67 structures at the site. Link to Update
Waste 360 – Clean Tech Startup Creates Permanent Disposal for Radioactive Fuel
October 5, 2020 – Deep Isolation, a Berkeley, Calif.-based clean tech startup company, aims to solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems — the permanent disposal of approximately 490,000 metric tons of radioactive spent fuel that is being temporarily stored at hundreds of sites worldwide.
No spent nuclear fuel anywhere in the world has yet been placed in a permanent repository. In the U.S., there are more than 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel currently stored at nuclear reactor sites. Link to article