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.

Controlled deconstruction of the main plant begins at the WVDP

October 05, 2022 (Springville Journal) WEST VALLEY – The Department of Energy’s West Valley Demonstration Project in New York, began the controlled deconstruction of the Main Plant Process Building. The demolition is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete. The MPPB is one of the last remaining major facilities at West Valley, and the successful deconstruction of this facility will further reduce environmental risks and position the site for the next phase in cleanup. Read the article here.

West Valley Demonstration Project upgrades site security with new facility, October 05, 2022 (Springville Journal)

WEST VALLEY – The West Valley Demonstration Project is constructing a new guard house for its current and future onsite security needs. The new facility will provide more space for officers with updated offices, modern equipment, badging for site staff and storage space. “It’s important that we provide our security force with the tools they need to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently,” Jennifer Dundas said, Department of Energy-WVDP Safety and Site Programs Team Leader. “This new facility and more modern equipment will help our security force to be better prepared to protect and serve our workforce and the site.” The current guard house was built in the early 1980s, when cleanup at the site first began. It has served its purpose well over the years, but the site has outgrown its current capabilities. This new facility will better serve the continued needs of the site, as it progresses towards the next phase of cleanup. “Our current guard house is more than 40 years old, and needed to be replaced,” David Schuman said, CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley Safeguards and Security Manager. “This new facility will enhance our security presence and effectiveness and improve officer and employee safety. Improving our ability to support the site helps us to better handle any situation that may arise.” 

GAO – Nuclear Waste: DOE Needs to Improve Transparency in Planning for Disposal of Certain Low‐Level Waste

September 29, 2022 – The Department of Energy is responsible for disposing of certain low‐level nuclear waste from medical equipment, metals in nuclear reactors, and cleanup sites. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required DOE to assess the potential environmental effects of various disposal options. No legal options currently exist.

DOE’s assessments were extensive but didn’t give rationales for preferring certain disposal options. They also weren’t clear on the amount of waste that will need disposal—key information for decision makers.

We recommended ways to improve transparency. We also suggested that Congress consider addressing legal barriers to waste disposal. Link to GAO Document

Salamanca Press – Main Plant building ‘deconstruction’ underway at WVDP

September 29, 2022 – An excavator took the first bite out of the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) on Sept. 21 in a “controlled deconstruction” of the structure over the next 30 months, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Sept. 22.

Extensive measures are being used to prevent the potential spread of radioactive contamination and safety professionals will provide continuous monitoring and sampling during the deconstruction process, DOC officials said.

An extensive modeling and real‐time monitoring system has been established to help ensure that any potential radiological exposure from demolition activities is kept well below regulatory levels. Link to article

EM Update – White Applauds Accomplishments, Lays Out Challenges in Workshop Address

September 27, 2022 – EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White praised recent progress in EM’s cleanup work and laid out a roadmap of future success as he kicked off the first full day of the annual National Cleanup Workshop in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 22.

White was well received by the large crowd — 630 people attended in person, 91 virtually — who represented private industry, stakeholders around the sites where EM works and employees and contractors from across the EM complex. Link to Update

Upcoming meeting information

The next CTF meeting will be on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Ashford Office Complex, 9030 Route 219, West Valley
On-line webinar: Register here

For more information

on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, please contact:

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