NISKAYUNA, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed the last phase of building demolition at the Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU), located at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
Demolition of Buildings H2 and G2, which began in 2016, finished in May 2018. The buildings supported improvements in the chemical separation of plutonium for the nation’s strategic defense early in the Cold War. The demolition work culminates several years of demolition operations by AECOM, DOE’s cleanup contractor at the site. Remaining work includes removing concrete debris, verifying the remaining soil meets cleanup objectives, and backfilling the excavations and restoring the work area. The project is expected to be completed this fall.
"The DOE SPRU Field Office staff and our AECOM contractor worked together closely to safely and successfully complete this major project milestone,” Federal Project Director Steven Feinberg said.
“Safely completing demolition of Building H2 is a major achievement for our team,” said Keith Stone, AECOM’s SPRU Disposition Project Manager. “With the backfill of the H2 excavation and environmental restoration of the SPRU site, we will have achieved DOE’s goal of eliminating the risks inherent in these 60-year-old facilities.”
A small amount of radioactive waste material containing hazardous chemicals known as mixed transuranic waste will remain and be stored safely, securely and in compliance with environmental requirements after project completion. This waste is destined for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. On March 29, 2018, DOE applied for a storage permit with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.