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.
Olean Times Herald -WVDP conducts virtual exercise to prepare for emergency incidents
January 14, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Energy and its cleanup contractor at the West Valley Demonstration Project conducted a recent emergency response exercise with off-site emergency response agencies.
A virtual tabletop format was used instead of a hands-on exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s exercise included representatives from Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, Cattaraugus County Special Response Team and West Valley Volunteer Hose Fire and Rescue, with evaluation assistance from the Department of Energy-West Valley Demonstration Project. Link to article
Springville Journal – Progress with WVDP decommissioning to continue in 2021
January 14, 2021 – Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project continue to move forward in their efforts to decommission the West Valley Nuclear Service Center and build on the success from last year. New projects and goals have been set for 2021 as crews continue work on the site.
In 2020, crews at the West Valley Demonstration Project completed projects to remove support structures, prepare facilities for demolition and improve infrastructure. Demolition of the main plant office building, utility room building and the acid recovery airlock was completed this past year, which brings the total number of buildings removed at the site to 68. Link to article
DOE EM Update – Employee Feedback Improves Decontamination Project at West Valley
January 13, 2021 – EM workers provided feedback and lessons learned to help develop a new box to contain materials for disposal as they decontaminate the walls of a former reprocessing cell inside the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP).
“This is a good example of what can be accomplished when employees are engaged in the process,” said Todd Olson, facility disposition foreman with EM cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley. “Open communication allows for ideas to be shared and provides a sense of ownership, which helps to further improve safety, productivity, and efficiency.”
Link to Update
Buffalo News – Another Voice: West Valley site demolition will be handled safely
January 11, 2021 – A recent opinion piece published by The Buffalo News posed the question, “Can open‐air demolition of the former nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities located in West Valley be performed safely?,” while a letter to the editor implied that human health risks such as excess infant mortality had previously been linked to the West Valley operation.
Link to article
Buffalo News Opinion – Letter: West Valley nuclear storage is too dangerous to demolish
December 29, 2020 – For many years I was a full professor of energy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. One of my colleagues a professor of epidemiology made a study of infant mortality near the said plant (West Valley nuclear storage facility) and found it was greatly increased. The increase was along the Cattaraugus Creek and the Allegheny River all the way to Pittsburgh. Link to article