‘2021 Year in Review’ Highlights EM Cleanup Progress, Priorities

EM leveraged the results of years of successful work in 2021 to launch a new era for DOE’s cleanup mission, all while continuing to manage the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. EM summarized its cleanup accomplishments across the complex, including numerous major program priorities, in its 2021 Year in Review released in late December.

“I am proud that this year EM again made significant strides in completing key projects, reducing the cleanup footprint, awarding major contracts that accelerate progress, and driving mission innovation and improved performance,” EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White said. “We embarked on an ambitious slate of cleanup priorities this year, and thanks to the dedication of our workforce, we were able to achieve the vast majority of what we set out to do.”

The 2021 Year in Review highlights progress and accomplishments at each EM site, including:

  • Completed demolition of the High Flux Beam Reactor exhaust stack at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
  • Completed construction and startup testing of all Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant facilities needed at the Hanford Site in Washington state to start immobilizing tank waste in glass using vitrification.
  • Completed building and testing the Tank-Side Cesium Removal system at the Hanford Site that will start treating tank waste in 2022 to build up a supply to feed directly to a vitrification facility in 2023 — an EM 2021 priority.
  • Completed more than 50 equipment modifications focused on contamination control and off-gas filters in preparation for operations at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit at the DOE Idaho National Laboratory Site. The facility will convert about 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste into a granular solid.
  • Certified and completed 30 legacy transuranic waste shipments from the Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico — an EM 2021 priority.
  • Completed the Nevada National Security Site Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Complex infrastructure expansion project to allow for future construction of low-level waste disposal cells.
  • Processed and disposed the low-dose portion of Oak Ridge’s uranium-233 inventory and provided medical isotopes for next-generation cancer research.
  • Initiated demolition activities on the X-326 Process Building at the Portsmouth Site in southern Ohio, and demolished 40% of the building — the first of three massive structures being demolished — an EM 2021 priority.
  • Opened the Portsmouth On-Site Waste Disposal Facility and moved the first demolition debris generated from deactivation and decommissioning at the site into the facility.
  • Opened the Critical Infrastructure, Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Laboratory at the Georgia Cyber Center in downtown Augusta, Georgia, establishing the South Carolina-based Savannah River National Laboratory’s physical presence in Georgia.
  • Completed construction eight months ahead of schedule and $32 million under budget for Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) 7, the second mega-sized SDU built at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to permanently dispose of decontaminated saltstone — an EM 2021 priority.
  • Received more than 200 transuranic waste shipments at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. More than 13,000 shipments have been received since the facility opened in 1999.
  • Continued preparation for the Main Plant Process Building demolition at the West Valley Demonstration Project in New York by installing a new water collection and treatment system, and by repurposing an administrative trailer complex into a multipurpose building to support demolition activities.

The 2021 Year in Review can be accessed here.