SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – The Department of Energy (DOE) has resumed active environmental cleanup at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC), a former nuclear and liquid metals research site in Ventura County, California.
Cleanup activities resumed on July 21 with the demolition of an ancillary guard station and a storage shed at the Radioactive Materials Handling Facility (RMHF) complex, a set of 10 buildings constructed in 1959 and used for the processing, packaging, and shipment of radioactive and mixed hazardous wastes during site operations that ended in 1988.
Demolition of the complex is being conducted under a recently signed agreement between the DOE and the State of California. Removing the RMHF facilities will reduce potential risk of release of hazardous substances due to wildfires or erosion from severe storms.
RMHF demolition and removal of debris is expected to take approximately six months. Activities are being conducted in adherence to safety practices recommended to protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus. Debris from the cleanup is being transported outside the State of California for disposal at licensed commercial disposal facilities.
“The Department of Energy is pleased to be making progress again at ETEC,” said William “Ike” White, Senior Advisor for Environmental Management to the Under Secretary for Science. “DOE will continue to work with the state to advance cleanup at the ETEC site.”
ETEC, located in Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, served as a premier research facility from the 1950s until the end of active operations. Since the 1980s, more than 200 structures on the site have been demolished and removed; after completing RMHF demolition, only eight DOE structures will remain.