Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

SNC-Lavalin calls for 'collaborative contracting' in the Gulf : Corporate - World Nuclear News

SNC-Lavalin calls for 'collaborative contracting' in the Gulf : Corporate - World Nuclear News: The SNC-Lavalin Group has launched a white paper on forming alliances for collaborative contracting in the Gulf Cooperation Council projects market. Experience of such an approach to nuclear power projects can inform other megaprojects, according to the white paper, which was launched today at a live webinar in partnership with the Middle East Economic Digest.

EDF invites interest in DAC project at Sizewell C : Corporate - World Nuclear News

EDF invites interest in DAC project at Sizewell C : Corporate - World Nuclear News: EDF has published an Expression of Interest document for a direct air capture demonstrator project at Sizewell C, the nuclear power plant it plans to build in Suffolk, England. The work will support NNB GenCo in: the supply and development of DAC technology, the design, engineering and construction of a DAC unit; the development of opportunities for scalability and cost reductions; and project management services.

Energy regulator explores key drivers of Canadian energy to 2050 : Energy & Environment - World Nuclear News

Energy regulator explores key drivers of Canadian energy to 2050 : Energy & Environment - World Nuclear News: Fossil fuels will still make up more than 60% of Canada's fuel mix in 2050 without an accelerated energy transition, a new report from the Canada Energy Regulator has found. The report is the first in CER's Energy Futures series to extend the projection period to 2050 and introduces a new scenario to complement the series' traditional baseline projection.

NRC approves Indian Point licence transfer : Regulation & Safety - World Nuclear News

NRC approves Indian Point licence transfer : Regulation & Safety - World Nuclear News: The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of the Indian Point nuclear power plant's licences from Entergy Nuclear Operations to Holtec International, as owner, and Holtec Decommissioning International, as decommissioning operator. The transfer will help facilitate the sale of the plant from Entergy to Holtec for expedited decommissioning after the final operating unit shuts down in April next year.

Head of EDF calls for Europe to include nuclear in Green Deal : Energy & Environment - World Nuclear News

Head of EDF calls for Europe to include nuclear in Green Deal : Energy & Environment - World Nuclear News: The European Commission should include nuclear among the clean energy technologies that will be financed under the Green Deal low-carbon policy, EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said today in an online chat with International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol. Several European countries, he noted, are relying on nuclear generation to help them meet their energy and climate goals.

India, USA extend nuclear cooperation partnership : Nuclear Policies - World Nuclear News

India, USA extend nuclear cooperation partnership : Nuclear Policies - World Nuclear News: India and the USA have extended their Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership by 10 years. The centre - officially opened in 2017 - supports international cooperation in nuclear energy applications.

EC to consider hydrogen produced from nuclear power as low-carbon - Nuclear Engineering International

EC to consider hydrogen produced from nuclear power as low-carbon - Nuclear Engineering International: The European Commission (EC) will consider hydrogen produced from nuclear power as “low-carbon”, Paula Abreu Marques, head of unit for renewables and CCS policy told the European Commission’s energy directorate....

Part one | Nuclear energy in Africa : New Frame

Part one | Nuclear energy in Africa : New Frame: Chasing quality, not clicks

United States Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Report 2020-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com | Business Wire

United States Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Report 2020-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com | Business Wire: The

Nuclear Plant Life Extensions Help Clean Energy Transition| IAEA

Nuclear Plant Life Extensions Help Clean Energy Transition| IAEA: A new IAEA data animation shows that extending the life of existing nuclear power plants significantly increases the availability of reliable low carbon power, helping to meet climate goals and the transition to clean energy by 2050.

Nuclear power and net-zero - Environment Journal

Nuclear power and net-zero - Environment Journal: Nuclear power: what the ‘green industrial revolution’ means for the next three waves of reactors.  The UK government has just

TVA names new leaders for two nuclear plants | Chattanooga Times Free Press

TVA names new leaders for two nuclear plants | Chattanooga Times Free Press: The Tennessee Valley Authority has named new leaders for two of its three nuclear power plants.

NRC Reaffirms Its Decision Allowing SLR Applicants to Rely on License Renewal GEIS | Morgan Lewis - Up & Atom - JDSupra

NRC Reaffirms Its Decision Allowing SLR Applicants to Rely on License Renewal GEIS | Morgan Lewis - Up & Atom - JDSupra: In a recently issued NRC adjudicatory decision, the Commission reaffirmed its regulatory interpretation allowing power reactor licensees applying for subsequent license renewal (SLR),...

United States Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Report 2020-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com | Business Wire

United States Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Report 2020-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.com | Business Wire: The

Design updates, financial shakeup prompt utilities to rethink structure of NuScale's $6.1B SMR project | Utility Dive

Design updates, financial shakeup prompt utilities to rethink structure of NuScale's $6.1B SMR project | Utility Dive: Utility industry news and analysis for energy professionals.

Azarga Receives Final EPA Permits for Flagship Dewey Burdock Project; Another Substantial Milestone Achieved

Azarga Receives Final EPA Permits for Flagship Dewey Burdock Project; Another Substantial Milestone Achieved: Azarga Uranium CORP. is pleased to announce that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has issued the final permits for the Company's Class III and Class V Underground Injection Control activities at its primary development project, the Dewey Burdock in-situ recovery uranium project in South Dakota, USA that the project is both technically and environmentally sound. With pivotal federal permits now ...

OSU center shows off NuScale work | Local | democratherald.com

OSU center shows off NuScale work | Local | democratherald.com: It felt like you were entering a Bond or Bourne film. The door was unlocked and whap! — you were face to face with enough monitors and computer screens to

Federal utility fined $900K for nuclear violations, cover-up – The Journal Record

Federal utility fined $900K for nuclear violations, cover-up – The Journal Record: Federal regulators have fined the nation's largest public utility more than $900,000 for violating procedures during the startup of a Tennessee nuclear reactor

Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approval of Entergy's Sale of Indian Point | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approval of Entergy's Sale of Indian Point | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo: Statement from Governor Cuomo on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approval of Entergy's Sale of Indian Point

Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves ownership transfer of Indian Point for decommissioning – Daily Energy Insider

Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves ownership transfer of Indian Point for decommissioning – Daily Energy Insider: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of ownership of the Indian Point Energy Center’s nuclear power plant from Entergy Corp. to Holtec International for decommissioning. The transfer is currently targeted for May 2021, ... Read More »

California ISO Report on system and market conditions, issues and performance: August and September 2020 | The Energy Collective Daily

 

California ISO Report on system and market conditions, issues and performance: August and September 2020 | The Energy Collective Daily

Link to The Energy Collective Network

Middle East Deals Should Include Nuclear Energy Collaboration | Opinion

Middle East Deals Should Include Nuclear Energy Collaboration | Opinion: Nuclear cooperation between the U.S., Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia could help prevent a cascade of Middle Eastern nuclear proliferation.

For Nuclear Energy To Flourish, We Need A ‘Mindset Reversal’ About Radiation

For Nuclear Energy To Flourish, We Need A ‘Mindset Reversal’ About Radiation: Tthe growth of nuclear energy is being hobbled by several factors including cost and the long licensing and construction schedules for new reactors. Those high costs and long schedules can largely be traced back to a single issue: the public’s excessive fear of radiation.

Webinars On Demand -- ANS / Webinars

Webinars On Demand -- ANS / Webinars

Japan’s KHI exits nuclear sector to focus on hydrogen

Japan’s KHI exits nuclear sector to focus on hydrogen: Japanese engineering firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has decided to withdraw from its nuclear power-related business operations, shifting its focus to hydrogen in the firm's energy and environmental solutions sector.

Czech Premier Signals Delay in $7 Billion Nuclear Reactor Tender

Czech Premier Signals Delay in $7 Billion Nuclear Reactor Tender

Czech Premier Signals Delay in $7 Billion Nuclear Reactor Tender

Czech Premier Signals Delay in $7 Billion Nuclear Reactor Tender

BWX Technologies develops new nuclear reactor tech » 3dpbm

BWX Technologies develops new nuclear reactor tech » 3dpbm: Engineers and designers at BWX Technologies have developed new additive manufacturing technologies for the design and manufacture of nuclear reactor components made from high-temperature alloys and refractory metals. BWX developed

Can 3D printing build a better, cheaper reactor faster?

Can 3D printing build a better, cheaper reactor faster?: A 3D-printed nuclear reactor could open a path to advanced commercial nuclear power stations a cost competitive with natural gas turbine power plants.

MIT's Ernie Moniz Is On Biden's Short List For Energy Secretary — Thrilling Energy Wonks But Disappointing Progressives | Earthwhile

MIT's Ernie Moniz Is On Biden's Short List For Energy Secretary — Thrilling Energy Wonks But Disappointing Progressives | Earthwhile: Moniz is respected by many in the energy world, but he's not without his critics in the progressive environmental movement.

US NRC approves Indian Point nuclear plant license transfer to Holtec | S&P Global Platts

US NRC approves Indian Point nuclear plant license transfer to Holtec | S&P Global Platts: The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission late Nov. 23 said it approved transferring the Indian Point nuclear power plant licenses from Entergy to Holtec for decommissioning once the 1,080 MW Indian Point

Energy Community Alliance ECA Update November 25, 2020

 

 

Dan’s Idaho Nuclear Chili Recipe | Neutron Bytes

Dan’s Idaho Nuclear Chili Recipe | Neutron Bytes: This is a Thanksgiving tradition now published for the 14th year in a row here and  previously at my former blog Idaho Samizdat (2007-2012) In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and wanting to take a brea…

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

‘He’s not Kushner’: Israelis who’ve worked with Blinken welcome his pick as secretary of state - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

‘He’s not Kushner’: Israelis who’ve worked with Blinken welcome his pick as secretary of state - U.S. News - Haaretz.com: Antony J. Blinken has accumulated years of experience working in the White House and is no stranger to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tzipi Livni is among Israelis voicing optimism about him as Biden’s top diplomat

Arktika icebreaker completes first mission : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News

Arktika icebreaker completes first mission : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News: Russia's new nuclear-powered icebreaker, Arktika, today completed its first operational voyage - piloting the Siyaniye Severa dry cargo ship to the entrance of the Gulf of Ob in the Russian Arctic, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced.

BWXT announces advances in 3D printing of reactor components : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News

BWXT announces advances in 3D printing of reactor components : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News: New additive manufacturing technologies for the design and manufacture of reactor components made from high-temperature alloys and refractory metals have been developed by BWX Technologies in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Such components could find applications in current and advanced reactors, as well as in accident-tolerant fuels.

Iran enters new phase of uranium enrichment, ambassador says : Regulation & Safety - World Nuclear News

Iran enters new phase of uranium enrichment, ambassador says : Regulation & Safety - World Nuclear News: Iran has begun a new stage of uranium enrichment activities, the country’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna said in an interview with IRNA on 22 November. Kazem Gharibabadi said that, during the discussion of Iran at the recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Directors, France, Germany and the UK - the E3 countries - "had expressed regret" over the USA's withdrawal in May 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the reimposition of economic sanctions against Iran.

Regulator opens South African nuclear proposals for comment : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News

Regulator opens South African nuclear proposals for comment : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News: The National Energy Regulator of South Africa is inviting public comment on the government's plans for the procurement of 2500 MW of new nuclear generation capacity. The regulator has published a 21-page consultation paper on which the public has until 5 February to comment. It will then hold public hearings through online platforms.

Paks 2 Construction Licence Could Be Issued In Spring 2021 :: The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency

Paks 2 Construction Licence Could Be Issued In Spring 2021 :: The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency: Planning for two Generation III+ nuclear power plants at the Paks 2 nuclear site in Hungary has not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with a construction licence expected in the spring of 2021, the minister responsible for planning, construction and commissioning of the units said.

According to press reports in Hungary, János Süli told parliament’s economic committee that significant progress had been made in the last year.

In July, Paks II, the company leading the project, submitted a licence application for construction of the two plants to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA). In October it submitted its application for an implementation licence for the new units. That licence, if granted, will show that the two reactors planned for the site will meet requirements set out in the Hungarian Electricity Act.

S.African regulator asks public to comment on government's nuclear plan | Reuters

S.African regulator asks public to comment on government's nuclear plan | Reuters: South Africa's energy regulator on Monday invited the public to comment on a government plan to procure new nuclear capacity to come online after 2030.

Laser fusion reactor approaches ‘burning plasma’ milestone | Science | AAAS

Laser fusion reactor approaches ‘burning plasma’ milestone | Science | AAAS: After a decade, National Ignition Facility nears a self-heated, sustained reaction, though net energy gain is still elusive

India, US extend nuclear energy partnership by another decade - The Hindu BusinessLine

India, US extend nuclear energy partnership by another decade - The Hindu BusinessLine: Call for actions to address continuing and evolving nuclear security challenges

The U.S. Military and Russia Both Tried to Make a Nuclear-Powered Plane | The National Interest

The U.S. Military and Russia Both Tried to Make a Nuclear-Powered Plane | The National Interest: Both quickly realized it was not practical.

New research planned for high-energy physics -- ANS / Newswire

New research planned for high-energy physics -- ANS / Newswire

Medical cobalt industry tackles supply shortage

Medical cobalt industry tackles supply shortage: Growth in the global healthcare sector is increasing demand for cobalt products from the medical industry, but the market is expected to remain undersupplied in the coming years as it competes with other applications.

NERSA takes action on new nuclear power procurement | ESI-Africa.com

NERSA takes action on new nuclear power procurement | ESI-Africa.com: NERSA consultation paper states that the DMRE will be responsible for procuring South Africa's new nuclear build.

SA takes another step towards new nuclear power

SA takes another step towards new nuclear power: A number of parties are interesting in building the nuclear station – and Nersa does not look keen for Eskom to get involved.

Defense-Related Uranium Mines Program is Key Addition to Navajo Nation 10-Year Plan - EIN Presswire

Defense-Related Uranium Mines Program is Key Addition to Navajo Nation 10-Year Plan - EIN Presswire: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) Defense-Related Uranium Mines (DRUM) Program is joining a multiagency planning team to

Uranium Week: Britain Goes Green With Nuclear  - FNArena

Uranium Week: Britain Goes Green With Nuclear  - FNArena: As the weekly spot price regains some ground, the British Prime Minister reveals nuclear initiatives as part of a plan for a green industrial revolution

The State of Nuclear Energy Today — and What Lies Ahead

The State of Nuclear Energy Today — and What Lies Ahead: The IPCC has identified nuclear power as key to controlling climate change. Can new reactors bring about a nuclear revival?

Entergy : License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC | MarketScreener

Entergy : License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC | MarketScreener: News Center > License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC For Immediate Release License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC ... | November 24, 2020

Wisconsin’s nuclear power plant operator seeks 30 more years – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids

Wisconsin’s nuclear power plant operator seeks 30 more years – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids: The operator of Wisconsin's only remaining nuclear power plant wants to keep the 50-year-old plant running through 2050.

License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC

License Transfer Request for Indian Point Approved by NRC: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission today approved the application to transfer the licenses for Indian Point Energy Center's nuclear power plants Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3, from Entergy Corporation subsidiaries to a Holtec International subsidiary for prompt decommissioning. The transfer of Indian Point to Holtec, currently targeted for May 2021 would occur following the satisfaction of all closing conditions, ...

NYC-area nuclear plant sale gets federal approval - Alton Telegraph

NYC-area nuclear plant sale gets federal approval - Alton Telegraph: BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved sale of the Indian Point nuclear power plant to a dismantling company without granting requests by lawmakers and environmental groups for public hearings. The NRC announced Monday that it has signed off on its staff's recommendation last week to approve Entergy Corp.'s sale of the plant north of New York City to New Jersey-based Holtec International. After the plant shuts down in the spring, Entergy plans to transfer its license to Holtec to dismantle the reactors and clean up the site along the Hudson River by 2033. The NRC agreed to rescind or modify the transfer after it decides whether to grant New York state and the environmental group Riverkeeper's requests for hearings about their concerns regarding the sale. New York Attorney General Letitia James has called the Holtec deal "very risky," questioning Holtec's financing and experience. During a Zoom conference Friday organized by the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater environmental group, Assistant New York Attorney General Joshua Tallent said he would like to see money for spent radioactive fuel management set aside in a supplemental fund until the decommi

NRC approves sale of the Indian Point nuclear power plant to Holtec

NRC approves sale of the Indian Point nuclear power plant to Holtec: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed to let Entergy sell the Indian Point nuclear power plant to Holtec International of New Jersey

EM Update November 24, 2020

 

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The Transuranic Storage Area Retrieval Enclosure — the wide T-shaped building in the foreground — is undergoing closure under federal and state regulations at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex at the Idaho National Laboratory Site. The north end of the building must be removed to make room for a 150-acre soil cover and associated drainage system over the Subsurface Disposal Area, shown in the background.


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Closure of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site’s largest building, which once housed 65,000 cubic meters of Cold War weapons waste, is underway and is scheduled for completion next year.
The Transuranic Storage Area Retrieval Enclosure at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex is large enough to house an aircraft carrier or four football fields.
It was constructed over an asphalt-lined waste storage area that accepted tens of thousands of drums and boxes of transuranic and hazardous waste from the former Rocky Flats Plant near Denver from 1970 to the late 1980s.
After that waste was stacked several rows deep, it was covered with clean soil. EM completed construction of the enclosure in 1996 after overcoming engineering challenges to erect the building without impacting the waste.
Crews with EM contractor Fluor Idaho have dismantled the building’s inner enclosures previously used to open drums and boxes of waste. Workers are currently clearing equipment as part of the closure process under federal and state regulations. Asphalt pads within the building will be taken out and disposed.
Crews retrieved the last of the waste from the storage area beneath the enclosure in early 2017. They’ve been characterizing, treating, repackaging, certifying, and shipping the material to EM’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for disposal.
The building’s asphalt will be disposed at the Idaho CERCLA Disposal Facility (ICDF) if sampling indicates the material meets the landfill’s waste acceptance criteria. The ICDF is a 510,000-cubic-yard lined landfill in the south-central portion of the INL Site used for cleanup waste generated throughout the 890-square-mile INL Site. CERCLA stands for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
The enclosure is part of the larger Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project facility, which is scheduled for a phased closure. The first phase is closure and removal of the enclosure to make room for a drainage system that will channel water away from a 150-acre soil cover that will be constructed over the nearby Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA). That site accepted waste for shallow burial from 1952 to 1970.
Construction of the cover, or cap, will begin after workers at the Accelerated Retrieval Project IX complete targeted waste exhumation of the last of 5.69 acres of transuranic and hazardous waste. EM and Fluor Idaho expect to complete removal of the last 0.34 acres of waste in 2021.
-Contributor: Erik Simpson


Cleanup Progress at ETEC Advances EM 2020 Priorities

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All waste has been removed from the site of EM’s 10th and final building demolition at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) Radioactive Materials Handling Facility complex earlier this month. EM is set to continue additional building demolitions at ETEC in collaboration with the State of California.


EM continues to make progress on its 2020 priorities. EM Update is highlighting accomplishments in EM’s priority groups through the end of this year.

Crews are maintaining momentum on removal of contaminated buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC). Earlier this month, they completed demolition of the last of 10 buildings at the Radioactive Materials Handling Facility (RMHF) at ETEC. The cleanup takes place in Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Ventura County, California.

With teardown of the 10 buildings at the RMHF complex complete, only eight DOE-owned structures remain at ETEC. Earlier this month, DOE announced the signing of an Amendment to the May 2020 Order on Consent with the State of California to demolish those eight remaining DOE buildings. The action will fulfill DOE’s commitment to complete building demolition at ETEC.

Separately, DOE on Nov. 10 published a Record of Decision (ROD) outlining planned groundwater remediation activities at the site where nuclear and liquid metals research was conducted from the 1950s until site operations ended in the late 1980s.

Those actions will address areas of the site where investigations indicated the presence of chemical solvents and metals from historic site activities. The ROD describes monitoring and treatment approaches tailored to address the contaminants and potential impacts in each affected area of the site, as well as interim actions.

“We are thrilled that crews were able to accomplish demolition of the RMHF buildings at ETEC on time, even with the hurdles of COVID. The positive momentum continues with DOE and the State of California working together on the Amended Order to advance cleanup at the site,” said John Jones, ETEC federal project director.

In May, DOE and the State of California signed a consent order to demolish the 10 DOE buildings at the RMHF site. Demolition started in July.

Removing all 10 RMHF facilities, which were used for the processing, packaging, and shipment of radioactive and mixed hazardous wastes, reduces potential risk of release of hazardous substances due to wildfires or erosion from severe storms.

-Contributors: Stephanie Shewmon, Christina Swanson



Hanford WTP Treatment Commissioning Technicians Finish Desk Training

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Workers dismantle transport platforms at the Y-12 National Security Complex so they can be taken to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The platforms will be installed to support deactivation activities at the eight-story Experimental Gas-Cooled Reactor.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Reuse of transport platforms — large elevator-like devices installed outside facilities that allow workers to access multiple floors — among EM cleanup projects in Oak Ridge will save nearly $3.5 million.

“Our cleanup program is focused on completing projects successfully while also being extremely mindful of any efficiencies we can achieve to be responsible stewards of tax dollars,” Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) Manager Jay Mullis said. “We recently completed core cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park $80 million under budget, and that is a trend we look to continue as we move forward with cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).”


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A view of one of the transport platforms installed outside the six-story Building 9207 at the Y-12 National Security Complex’s Biology Complex. These platforms allowed crews to move abatement equipment and remove packaged asbestos and hazardous waste from the building’s higher floors and roof.


OREM and cleanup contractor UCOR had the platforms installed at Y-12’s Biology Complex to support deactivation activities to prepare remaining structures in the complex for demolition. The platforms allowed crews to accelerate that work and paved the way for a teardown that began last week.

With the transport platforms, crews were able to more easily move asbestos abatement equipment and restock supplies inside the Biology Complex’s three-story- and six-story-tall buildings. Workers also used the platforms to remove packaged asbestos and hazardous waste from higher floors and the roof.

As the start of demolition on the Biology Complex approached, OREM and UCOR worked collaboratively to identify additional uses for the equipment.

Only a few miles away, at ORNL, OREM and UCOR were starting to plan for another major deactivation project at the Experimental Gas-Cooled Rector. Standing eight stories tall, it presented a perfect opportunity to reuse the platforms.

Due to the size of the reactor, crews will again need additional capacity to reach the upper levels to support deactivation activities.

“Transferring the transport platforms from a cleanup project at Y-12 to one at ORNL became an obvious ‘win-win,’ eliminating the need to buy more costly equipment,” said Dan Macias, Oak Ridge Reservation environmental cleanup program manager for UCOR.

-Contributor: Susanne Dupes



Hanford Meteorological Station: Keeping Workers Safe and History Alive

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The sun begins to rise behind the 400-foot Hanford Meteorological Station tower, a source of current and historical weather data for the Hanford Site since 1944.


RICHLAND, Wash. – At the Hanford Site, weather data drives decisions that keep the workforce safe and healthy through high temperatures in the desert summer, powerful winds, and freezing rain and snow in the winter. The Hanford Meteorological Station is an invaluable resource for work planners and site leaders.

In operation since 1944 and currently managed by EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Mission Support Alliance, the station receives data from 30 instrument towers on and around the 580-square-mile site. The most recognizable to workers is the 400-foot tower located near the center of the site, which collects meteorological data from sensors at several levels of the structure.

The meteorological team’s toolbox also includes remote sensors, giving them an edge in collecting accurate data across the site for the heat index, winter weather, thunderstorms, and wind speeds. Winds can gust above 40 miles per hour more than 20 days during the year.

“The weather station is a significant aid to our workforce, from keeping them safe in the summer heat or providing advance warnings to weather systems such as extreme wind conditions that could impair personal safety or force the temporary halt of work on the site to protect both the workers and the surrounding communities,” said Kyle Rankin, RL chief engineer. “Having access to this data and forecasters who understand weather patterns is a huge asset to the site.”


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From left, meteorologists Matt Eckhoff, Grant Gutierrez, Perry Perrault, and Josh Markel with Mission Support Alliance help monitor weather conditions around the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Constructed in the 1960s, the current Hanford Meteorological Station replaced the original small two-story station, shown above.


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Bryan Hurt, with Mission Support Alliance’s radio maintenance organization, works on cables for critical communications systems located 365 feet up the 400-foot Hanford Meteorological Station tower.


Handwritten logs dating back to the beginning of site meteorological operations highlight weather data that helped forecast potential impacts from natural disasters and conveyed personal insights on memorable weather moments. Following the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens on May 18, 1980, a forecaster cited “heavy ash” and wrote “the birds don’t know what to do, and I don’t either” in the weather log.

Using decades of historical data and readings from today’s network of sensors, Hanford meteorologists are able to make accurate forecasts of conditions across the site.

“The weather and telephone logs are an exceptional source of information,” said Perry Perrault, Hanford meteorologist and forecaster. “You’ll find historic information on momentous wind storms, blizzards, dust storms, range fires, and thunderstorms over the decades. This data is important for climatology research and daily analysis of the weather for our Hanford Site contractors.”

Check out real-time data from the station here.

-Contributor: Melissa Ver Steeg



Portsmouth Site Installs Water Treatment System for Disposal Facility

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PIKE COUNTY, OhioEM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office is installing the water treatment system for its On-Site Waste Disposal Facility at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site. The disposal facility will hold much of the debris and other material from demolition of the large gaseous-diffusion process buildings and other plant facilities. Construction crews, led by EM cleanup contractor Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, recently installed the Modular Leachate Treatment System that includes a million-gallon water tank and support structures. The tank allows for storage of additional water that might result from significant storms.

-Contributor: Donnie Locke



Oak Ridge Employs Drone Technology for Safer Inspections

A drone hovers over the 3039 exhaust stack at Oak Ridge to lower a camera inside to conduct a visual inspection.


OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – What’s the safest way to climb and inspect a 70-year-old, 250-foot-tall brick exhaust stack?

That’s the question employees in Oak Ridge worked to answer, and through the use of technology and innovation, they determined no one had to climb after all.

In October, the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) used a drone to conduct visual inspections inside and outside the 3039 stack. The chimney-like structure, built in 1950, is located in the central campus area of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Due to the age of the structure, it requires periodic inspections to evaluate its structural integrity.

The 3039 stack provides high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-filtered ventilation exhaust for numerous radiological facilities, including various isotope facilities in the central campus. OREM is responsible for its operation and maintenance because it is part of the Liquid and Gaseous Waste Operations infrastructure.


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A close-up view of the drone, which resembles a mini-helicopter. Following commands from a ground-based operator, the camera-mounted drone circles around the stack making recordings that can be evaluated by engineers and safety experts.


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EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 36 | Nov. 24, 2020

GreenBar


Reuse of Cleanup Equipment in Oak Ridge Saves Millions

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A view of the 3039 exhaust stack, which was built in 1950 and stands 250 feet tall. It provides high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-filtered ventilation exhaust for numerous radiological facilities, including various isotope facilities in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s central campus.


The drone resembles a mini-helicopter. Following commands from a ground-based operator, the camera-mounted drone circles around the stack, searching for flaws that could threaten the stack’s structural integrity. The cameras record as the drone circles the stack and as it is lowered into the stack. Then, engineers and safety experts assess the footage to note any areas of concern.

The external portion of the inspection was performed using an onboard camera system, while the internal portion was performed by hovering the drone over the top opening and lowering the camera into the stack.

Previous stack inspections required inspectors to physically climb the 250-foot-tall structure. Now, technology is eliminating the need for workers to climb the stack and establish work platforms high in the air. This is the latest example of how OREM and its contractors are working together to identify approaches that will keep employees safe while performing EM’s complex and challenging cleanup mission.

-Contributor: Ben Williams

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