In the News

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.

State-Licensed Disposal Area (SDA) Annual Report 2022

Click here to read NYSERDA’s 2022 report on the State-Licensed Disposal Area at West Valley.

Cleaning Up America’s Nuclear Weapons Complex: 2023 Update for Governors

National Governors Association — Read the 2023 Update for Governors here.

Cell by cell, WVDP workers steadily deconstruct main plant

Olean Times Herald (April 5, 2023) and Springville Journal (April 6, 2023):

WEST VALLEY — The Department of Energy and its prime contractor recently removed the concrete floor of a cell within the Main Plant Process Building as part of work to demolish the facility at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

Crews used heavy equipment to carefully lift and place each section of the Acid Recovery Cell floor into a container for offsite disposal.

Last summer, workers sawed the approximately 900-square-foot cell floor into more than 20 blocks for safe removal, further reducing the potential spread of contamination and providing an additional level of safety to the West Valley workforce.

“Our team continues to find ways to perform this challenging work in a manner that is protective of our employees, the public and the environment,” said Stephen Bousquet, Main Plant Project Director.

Located on the second floor of the Main Plant, the cell contained equipment that concentrated acids used in fuel reprocessing operations in the 1960s and ’70s. During those activities, acid leaks contaminated and damaged the cell’s floor.

As a result, grout was placed on the floor to provide shielding during reprocessing operations and then again during DOE’s deactivation of the Main Plant.

“Safety is paramount to our deconstruction activities,” Bousquet said. “We take great care to limit the separation of the floor from the grout to minimize the potential for the spread of contamination.”

Crews also will remove the cell’s pump room. During reprocessing operations, that room was used to recover most of the nitric acid used to dissolve the cut or chopped spent fuel transferred from the Main Plant’s Chemical Process Cell. It housed pumps, jets, a tank and associated piping and equipment.

In other recent work to prepare for the Main Plant teardown, workers pulled three shield windows from the Chemical Process Cell that together weigh more than 75,000 pounds.

A DOE 2023 priority is to dispose of 9,000 tons of Main Plant demolition waste. The Main Plant is one of the last remaining major facilities at West Valley. Its successful demolition will further reduce environmental risks and position the site for the next phase in cleanup. The demolition is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete.

West Valley Citizen Task Force Members Meet With EM Representatives

EM Update, April 4, 2023 —

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the West Valley Citizen Task Force met with EM representatives last week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the group’s priorities and challenges. The task force was assembled in 1997 to provide advice on the completion of the West Valley Demonstration Project and cleanup, closure and long‐term management of the facilities at the site. Pictured from left: Kevin Boyle, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local 2401; Kristen Ellis, EM director of regulatory, intergovernmental and stakeholder engagement; Ray Raffel, IAMAW Local 2401; John Pfeffer, Town of Ashford, New York supervisor; Anna Carr, Seneca Nation of Indians water program manager; and Joceline Nahigian, EM director of intergovernmental and stakeholder programs.

In Waste Management Address, White Lays Out Vision for Cleanup’s Next Stage

EM Update 2/28/23 —

While its mission is rooted in the environmental legacy of the past, EM is focused on possibilities for a future that holds great promise for its union workforce, industry leaders, tribal nations and communities surrounding cleanup sites, and partners around the globe, EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White told an audience at the 2023 Waste Management Symposia on Monday.

Read the full coverage here.

Upcoming meeting information

The next CTF meeting will be on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ashford Office Complex, 9030 Route 219, West Valley
On-line webinar: Register here
Agenda coming soon!

For more information

on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, please contact:

Nancy Raca, Facilitator
West Valley Citizen Task Force
c/o Highland Planning