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The mission of the Office of Environmental Management (EM) is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

The EM program has made significant progress in shifting away from risk management to embracing a mission completion philosophy based on reducing risk and reducing environmental liability. As an established operating cleanup completion and risk reduction program, EM is demonstrating the importance of remaining steadfast to operating principles while staying focused on the mission. For example:

  • EM is constructing and operating facilities to treat radioactive liquid tank waste into a safe, stable form to enable ultimate disposition.
  • EM is securing and storing nuclear material in a stable, safe configuration in secure locations to protect national security.
  • EM is transporting and disposing of transuranic and low-level wastes in a safe and cost effective manner to reduce risk.
  • EM is decontaminating and decommissioning facilities that provide no further value to reduce long-term liabilities and maximize resources for cleanup.
  • EM is remediating soil and ground water contaminated with the radioactive and hazardous constituents.
  • EM is fulfilling its commitments to reduce risk and complete cleanup across all sites for the generations to come.
  • EM is planning for a DOE long-term management and storage facility for U.S. elemental mercury.


Decommissioning the Heavy Water Components Test Reactor, which was used to test experimental fuel assemblies for commercial heavy-water power reactors.

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Focus Areas

Contact-handled transuranic waste is loaded into a shipping container at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.

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National Cleanup Workshops

The National Cleanup Workshops are intended to gather leaders in the area of environmental and radioactive waste cleanup to discuss near-term challenges and opportunities, share lessons learned, and chart a sustainable path forward for the Environmental Management program mission.

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Recovery Act

A Recovery Act worker suppresses dust during the demolition of Building 21-5, which was part of the DP West site.

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Asset Revitalization Initiative (ARI)

ARI is a DOE-wide effort to advance the beneficial reuse of the agency’s unique and diverse mix of assets, including land, facilities, infrastructure, equipment, technologies, natural resources, and highly skilled workforce. ARI promotes an efficient business environment to encourage collaboration between public and private resources. ARI integrates DOE missions with community interests.

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