A team from EM, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the U.S. Army Corp Engineers (USACE) performed core drilling, surveying, sampling, and a study of potential demolition impacts this month.
“Hitting this significant cleanup milestone took a lot of cooperation between the NNSA, EM, and USACE teams, particularly given the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” EM LLNL Federal Project Director Kevin Bazzell said. “But everyone came together with a commitment to safety, and to ensure we met EM’s commitment to start pre-work for demolition by the end of 2020.”
The Livermore Pool Type Reactor operated for more than 20 years, supporting radiation research at what was then known as the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The reactor was cooled and moderated with light water, and its power came from a uranium chain reaction.
The reactor was defueled and decommissioned in 1981. The remaining reactor vessel sits within a concrete-and-steel shielding structure inside Building 280.
Removal of the reactor from Building 280 is scheduled to begin in spring next year, with completion of the demolition expected in fall 2021.
“We will be removing a significant risk from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory by demolishing the Livermore Pool Type Reactor,” Bazzell said.
Following the demolition, EM will focus on tearing down Building 280 and other high-risk excess facilities at the site.