DOE recently bestowed eight EM teams with the Secretary of Energy Achievement Award, recognizing projects at the Idaho, Savannah River and Hanford sites as well as a group of employees who revamped and expanded EM’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (EM MSIPP).
The 2022 Achievement Awards honor a group or team of DOE employees and contractors who accomplish significant achievements on behalf of the Department, demonstrating cooperation and teamwork in attaining their goals.
The Achievement Awards are part of the annual Honor Awards, DOE’s highest form of employee recognition for excellence and achievement. EM employees on crosscutting Departmental teams also received 2022 Honor Awards.
EM MSIPP Execution Team
Due to its effort, dedication and unwavering support to DOE’s commitment to ensuring a diverse and highly qualified workforce, the EM MSIPP Execution Team successfully received support to increase its MSIPP budget from an average of $5.5 million from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2021, to $56 million in fiscal year 2022, according to the Department. The award recognizes the team members for their dedication in reaching thousands more students and hundreds more universities through the program.
Idaho Cleanup Project Buried Waste Retrieval Team
The Buried Waste Retrieval Team members were honored by DOE for their dedication to completing buried transuranic waste retrieval at the Idaho Cleanup Project. Braving extremely adverse and hazardous conditions, the team exhumed over 10,000 cubic meters of buried transuranic waste from 5.69 acres of the site’s Subsurface Disposal Area over 17 years. Their novel approach to use large fabric tent enclosures for waste retrieval was integral in protecting the workers and the public from the cleanup hazards.
Office of Assistant Manager for Business and Acquisition Management, Idaho Cleanup Project Team
DOE recognized this team for successfully implementing the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity End State Contracting Model for the Idaho Cleanup Project. This novel contracting approach was developed and implemented within EM to provide flexibility to task its contractors for site closure or end states to yield significant reductions in EM’s environmental risk and financial liability.
Savannah River Site Phytoremediation Project Team
DOE honored members of the Phytoremediation Project Team for their innovation and commitment to remediating the site’s largest tritium groundwater plume. A low-energy phytoremediation system irrigates pine trees using groundwater contaminated largely with tritium; the trees then evaporate the tritiated water in a safe, natural and environmentally friendly way. This system has prevented approximately 190 million gallons of water containing nearly 7,000 curies of tritium from entering the Savannah River, a downstream drinking water source, and will save approximately $168 million over 20 years when compared to traditional remedial technologies.
Savannah River Site Accelerated Basin De-Inventory Team
The Accelerated Basin De-inventory (ABD) Team created, planned and implemented a novel approach to spent nuclear fuel disposition called ABD. The team’s efforts will result in a cost reduction of over $4 billion dollars and represents a more than 20-year acceleration over the current approach for handling spent nuclear fuel currently stored in the L Area Disassembly Basin at Savannah River Site. The team’s dedication to fulfilling the DOE missions of footprint reduction, facility deactivation and nuclear nonproliferation benefits DOE, EM and the National Nuclear Security Administration missions alike and helps move several facilities at the site closer to deactivation, according to the Department.
Savannah River Site Lower Three Runs Final Remedial Decision Team
Members of the Lower Three Runs Final Remedial Decision Team received the Achievement Award for their dedication to securing the record of decision remedial agreement for the Lower Three Runs stream system at the site. Their efforts culminated in substantial cost savings and the protection of approximately 30 miles of canals and streams and over 3,000 acres of aquatic habitat. This approach can be applied to the other stream systems at the site and help achieve the EM priorities of legacy cleanup and environmental stewardship.
Hanford Groundwater Pump and Treat Team
DOE awarded the Groundwater Pump and Treat Team members for their contributions to the continued operation and expansion of the pump and treat facilities on the Hanford Site. The team identified areas for improved contaminate mass removal that will accelerate the cleanup schedule, ultimately shortening the time and reducing the cost of groundwater cleanup for DOE and ultimately American taxpayers. The Hanford Groundwater Pump and Treat Program is instrumental in reducing risk to the public and environment, most notably the Columbia River, by reducing the contaminants entering the river.
Hanford Tank-Side Cesium Removal Demonstration Integrated Project Team
The Tank Side Cesium Removal (TSCR) project represents the first large-scale treatment of radioactive and chemical waste from large underground tanks at the Hanford Site. DOE honored the team for its dedication to completion of construction and start of operations of the TSCR project. That milestone was a significant step towards the direct-feed low-activity waste approach. With strong coordination and dedication, innovative problem-solving, and a priority for safety, the TSCR project is treating radioactive and chemical waste at Hanford. This project was completed three months ahead of schedule and $29 million under the approved total project cost of $164 million.
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