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Hanford landfill work halted for probe - Business | Tri-City Herald : Mid-Columbia news - 0 views

    "Disposal has been halted as a precaution at Hanford's landfill for low-level radioactive and chemical waste until more is known about a load disposed there Tuesday afternoon.

    Workers reported an unpleasant sulfurlike smell and seeing possibly dust or smoke rising from waste being disposed of in the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, said Todd Nelson, spokesman for Washington Closure Hanford.

    The load had come from cleanup work in a part of B Reactor that's not accessible to the public.

    The Department of Energy asked that some housekeeping work be done in the historic reactor to get it in top shape as limited tours are offered and the National Park Service considers possible plans for a Manhattan Project National Historical Park."
Energy Net

Yakamas sue over Hanford waste landfill - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City Herald : Mid-Col... - 0 views

    "The Yakama Nation has filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Washington's actions to start construction of a cover over closed portions of private company US Ecology's waste disposal trenches at Hanford.

    Heart of America Northwest Research Center has joined the Yakamas in the lawsuit filed in Yakima County Superior Court.

    The state believes it has acted properly and that the Yakama Nation does not have a valid case, according to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.

    The state has a lease from the federal government for 100 acres on the Hanford nuclear reservation subleased to US Ecology for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste from organizations such as universities, hospitals, biotech firms and electric utilities in western states.

    The plaintiffs maintain that the landfill contains at least 220 pounds of plutonium 239 plus irradiated fuel segments and other spent nuclear fuel. It also may contain two high-level radioactive fuel rods disposed of at the site around 2003, the plaintiffs said."
Energy Net

Opinion | Nuclear cleanup regulation could put public at risk | Seattle Times Newspaper - 0 views

    "The weaknesses of federal regulatory agencies have been exposed by recent high-profile accidents. Guest columnist Tom Carpenter fears the Department of Energy will reduce its oversight of cleanup at the nation's nuclear waste sites.\n\nBy Tom Carpenter\n\nSpecial to The Times\n\nPREV of NEXT\n\n \n\nRelated\n\nMillions of gallons of oil gush continue to rush unabated from BP's mile-deep well in the Gulf of Mexico, and 11 workers are dead from the massive explosion that caused the biggest oil spill in decades. Weeks before this event, the news was dominated by the preventable explosion that killed 29 West Virginia coal miners.\n\nIn both cases, the not-so surprising news was that the mine and the oil rig had abysmal records of safety violations before the explosions yet were still allowed to operate by the captive regulatory agencies.\n\nWhere is the government accountability? It is the government's job to assure that ultra-hazardous industries operate safely and responsibly.\n\nIs nuclear next? The Department of Energy sits on the nation's biggest nuclear nightmare. Its inventories of highly radioactive and toxic wastes defy comprehension. Washingtonians are familiar with the DOE's No. 1 accomplishment, the Hanford nuclear site, which holds the lion's share of the nation's radioactive detritus. Suffice it to say that the escape of even a small fraction of such material into the environment would constitute a Chernobyl-sized catastrophe."
Energy Net

Hanford waste retrieval resumes with better technology - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City H... - 0 views

    "Hanford workers have resumed digging up temporarily buried transuranic waste in central Hanford with improved technology that should take some of the surprises out of the work.

    Retrieval of the transuranic waste -- typically debris contaminated with plutonium -- was stopped in February by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. when it ran into problems. Since then the Department of Energy contractor has been working on improvements to its processes.

    In 1970 Congress ordered transuranic waste sent to a national repository. But until the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico opened, Hanford workers have been storing waste suspected of being transuranic, often by temporarily burying it.

    Much of the waste that Hanford workers have dug up so far to ship to New Mexico was buried in tidy rows and information about what's underground has been available.

    But within the last year CH2M Hill has been progressing to more difficult burial trenches, and that's contributed to problems."
Energy Net

Munger: DOE banks on more Recovery Act projects » Knoxville News Sentinel - 0 views

    "Gerald Boyd, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge manager, said several of the environmental cleanup projects funded with Recovery Act money are coming in under budget, and Boyd said DOE hopes (plans) to spend those savings on other projects.

    Oak Ridge officials apparently are expecting other stimulus money may become available as well.

    "We have some proposals in Washington that we would like to do - a few additional projects," Boyd said. "They're all EM (environmental management) projects.""
Energy Net

Hanford barrier plan better block vs. waste in river - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City Her... - 0 views

    "The Department of Energy is proposing extending a chemical barrier along the Columbia River at Hanford after a pilot project successfully trapped radioactive strontium before it entered the river.

    At the same time, a system to pump contaminated water out of the ground and treat it, which had disappointing results, would be torn out.

    DOE has been testing the chemical barrier technology since 2005, with the most recent results showing a 90 percent reduction in strontium contamination in ground water, according to DOE.

    The test area extends 300 feet along the Columbia near Hanford's N Reactor, but DOE is proposing extending the chemical barrier to 2,500 feet to span the width of the area where strontium exceeds drinking water standards in ground water near the river."
Energy Net

Piketon residents updated on accelerated cleanup efforts | | Chi... - 0 views

    "Accelerated clean-up work at the Department of Energy's Piketon site is moving along well, officials said, following a $118.2 million infusion in federal stimulus money designed to speed up the process of decontamination and decommissioning, environmental remediation and waste management of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

    The removal of contaminated groundwater from a plume on the east side of the plant is moving along better than planned, DOE Project Manager Bill Murphie said at a public open house Thursday evening.

    "We've seen a cost savings there, and because of that, we've been able to do more groundwater removal than we initially thought with the (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) money," Murphie said."
Energy Net

Ohio's senators want aid for nuclear-site cleanup | The Columbus Dispatch - 0 views

    "Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich are locking arms politically to go after federal cash to help fund the cleanup of the site of a closed uranium-enrichment plant in southern Ohio.

    Ohio's U.S. senators asked key members of the Senate Appropriations Committee last week to come up with all the money President Barack Obama asked for in his proposed 2011 budget for cleanup and related efforts at the Piketon site: $479million total, including $416million for direct decontamination and cleanup efforts. Voinovich is a member of the appropriations committee.

    This is separate from ongoing work by USEC, a private company, to try to build a commercial enrichment plant on the site. Commercial uranium-enrichment plants produce fuel for nuclear-power plants. The old Piketon plant produced fuel for nuclear-power plants before it closed in 2001, but in the Cold War, it also made weapons-grade uranium for the country's atomic-weapons program.

    Congress allocated $303million for the cleanup in the 2010 budget, and the Piketon cleanup got an additional $118 million from the stimulus package."
Energy Net

Once notorious uranium waste site in Fernald, Ohio, beckons tourists | | Detr... - 0 views

    "At first, the Fernald Preserve inspires jokes.

    "Let's come back and go hiking -- in 500 years," I say, checking out trails marked with radiation monitors.

    My mom and stepdad make cracks about fish with three eyes and birds with six wings, ha ha. Still, we're a little nervous.

    Fernald Preserve used to be the site of the factory where uranium was processed for nuclear bombs.

    From 1951 to 1989, it was known as the Fernald Feed Materials Production Center, a secretive facility in the middle of farm country in southwest Ohio. It produced nearly 70% of all uranium used in America's nuclear weapons"
Energy Net

SEC gets deal for nuclear material cleanup - - 0 views

    "Virginia's Homeland Security Capital Corp. has received two task orders for environmental cleanup and facility demolition support services.

    Homeland Security Capital announced its Safety and Ecology Corp. subsidiary was selected by the U.S. Energy Department to provide environmental remediation services at the New Brunswick Laboratory.

    The $1.2 million hazardous material cleanup task order includes dismantling, removal and decommissioning of contaminated nuclear material at the laboratory in Argonne, Ill."
Energy Net

Some good news about nuclear waste | Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground | - 0 views

    "Enormous quantities of radioactive waste and other hazardous materials are being transported from cleanup sites on the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge reservation. Much of the waste is moved to disposal sites elsewhere on the federal reservation, and the good news is that most of it never traverses public roads.

    More than $20 million was spent a few years ago to construct a special haul road to allow daily truck convoys to move waste from demolition projects at K-25 to the DOE CERCLA landfill several miles away. It's expected to take about 40,000 truckloads to move the K-25 contaminated debris to the landfill."
Energy Net

Pumping of Hanford tank waste halted - Tri-City Herald - 0 views

    Work has halted to empty the only Hanford tank on which work has been under way to retrieve radioactive waste, but the Department of Energy and its contractor have ambitious plans for the remainder of the year.

    "Washington River Protection Solutions is going to be working very hard this summer to pull this off," said Steve Pfaff, DOE project director for tank waste retrieval.

    Work started in January to remove 260,000 gallons of solids from Tank C-104, one of 142 leak-prone single-shell tanks at Hanford that still hold radioactive waste from the production of plutonium during World War II and the Cold War.

    But this spring the pump lowered into the tank to help remove waste hit an obstruction hidden in the sludge. It was a broken piece of an old pump that Washington River Protection Solutions had removed from the tank to make way for the pump used for waste retrieval."
Energy Net

Feds give BNL $28M for nuclear reactor cleanup - 0 views

    "Stimulus funds wills ease environmental concerns

    Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) met with representatives of the Department Energy Tuesday at Brookhaven National Laboratory to announce that the lab will receive an additional $28 million in Recovery Act funding to complete the dismantling of the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor by this fall.

    The remaining steps include the removal of a 300-foot stack at the site and a concrete shield that once surrounded the reactor's core, already removed. Also to be dismantled are concrete air ducts, equipment from an associated ventilation building and exhaust filters, and other contaminated pipes and structures."
Energy Net

DOE silent on forced residency in Oak Ridge | Frank Munger's Atomic City Underground | ... - 0 views

    "The Dept. of Energy didn't have any immediate comment on the City of Oak Ridge's request that the next cleanup contract include a provision that requires the top managers with the contractor and major subcontractors live in Oak Ridge. The request was made in the city's comments submitted for the draft Request for Proposals.

    "I can't talk to anything related to the procurement at this point," John Shewairy, DOE's chief spokesman in Oak Ridge, said via e-mail. If the issue is addressed at the end of the comment period, Shewairy said he might comment then.

    Meanwhile, Bechtel Jacobs Co. DOE's cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge since 1998, didn't care to comment on where its executives live."
Energy Net

Anderson County Commissioners seek aid for radioactive cleanup » Knoxville Ne... - 0 views

    "Anderson County commissioners want federal and state help in cleaning up a radioactive blight, tearing it down and turning the site into a parking lot for a planned recreational complex next door.

    Commissioners Monday passed a resolution seeking federal and state financial assistance in the remediation of the abandoned American Nuclear Corp. facility.

    Located on Blockhouse Valley Road, the contaminated property is adjacent to county-owned land that includes a former landfill that's been cleaned up."
Energy Net

Draft Federal Report On Beryllium At Hanford Released To Limited Audience - 0 views

    "Some people sickened by beryllium say the toxic metal is finally getting adequate attention at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The Department of Energy has completed a long-awaited report on workers' exposure to beryllium. But the document has not yet been made public.

    Beryllium is a light-weight metal that was used to seal radioactive rods. In fine particles it can get into the lungs.

    Craig Hall worked at Hanford. He was diagnosed with Chronic Beryllium Disease more than 10 years ago. Since then he's been warning of the dangers of beryllium, but says he was ignored. Now a federal investigation has resulted in a 100-page draft report by the Department of Energy's Office of Health Safety and Security. Hall was one of the few people who were allowed to see it this week. Hall says he thinks the findings could have been more critical of Hanford managers. But he says the issue has reached a tipping point."
Energy Net

Mules will help in study of contaminated area | ScrippsNews - 0 views

    "The high-tech task of investigating radiological contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory where nuclear testing took place will employ some decidedly low-tech tools.

    The Environmental Protection Agency will rely on four mules carrying high-tech scanners designed to detect gamma radiation contamination in rocky, steep terrain in a section of the 2,850-acre field.

    The animals will help solve the "challenge of trying to get in more rugged terrain," said EPA senior science adviser Gregg Dempsey of the agency's Radiation and Indoor Environments National Laboratory."
Energy Net

State agrees to extend Molten Salt cleanup | - 0 views

    Environmental regulators are in informal dispute with the Dept. of Energy on a number of issues regarding the Oak Ridge cleanup program, and the state of Tennessee has been playing hardball at times, rejecting multiple requests for milestone changes in recent months because of differences over funding commitments.

    However, the state has agreed -- verbally, at least -- to change some of the schedules associated with removal of the highly radioactive fuel salts at the Molten Salt Reactor. The Molten Salt has been a real hang-up in the EM program, plagued with technical difficulties and surprises and sometimes bad luck. In the past, the state has shown considerable empathy and leniency in the schedule over the years when there were technical hiccups involved."
Energy Net

Feds agree to cleanup at Bannister plant - - 0 views

    "A landmark agreement between two federal agencies today will result in a cleanup at part of the Bannister Federal Complex where workers have complained of health problems.

    The agreement targets the roughly 40 percent of the complex owned by the General Services Administration. The GSA will begin immediately assessing the pollution at its site and will provide a work plan in 60 days, according to the agreement.

    The Environmental Protection Agency engineered the agreement, which is legally binding and sets up penalties if investigations, analysis and excavation of chemicals are not done properly or within a certain schedule. The agreement states it is not any sort of admission by GSA."
Energy Net

Hanford Moves Out Nine Radioactive "Hot Cells" | KEPR CBS 19 - News, Weather and Sports... - 0 views

    "A big part of Hanford's clean-up effort is taking place right now. That's nine radioactive "hot cells" packed up in custom containers and sealed for disposal. It's work that's years in the making.

    KEPR was the only station there as workers rolled out another hot cell.
    Each can weigh up to 200 tons. It's just one reason the work is slow. It also moves slowly because what's inside the containers is very, very dangerous. Gary Snow runs the demolition part of today's project.

    "The purpose of the building was to do testing on radiating materials. And over the course of the building, there were numerous accidents that spread contaminations," said Snow.

    The hot cell rolled out Thursday was not rolled out in the morning because it was too windy. But once it is, it will go in a custom brown container and will be filled with a cement grout."
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