EM checked off the majority of its priorities for calendar year (CY) 2023, completing complex work that led to critical progress, made possible by support from its state, tribal and local partners.

The EM CY23 Mission & Priorities Scorecard demonstrates EM’s commitment to the health and safety of the communities hosting cleanup sites. EM again hit its mark in 2023 by finishing significant construction milestones, executing key cleanup projects, reducing the EM footprint, awarding major contracts that accelerate progress, and driving innovation, sustainability and improved performance.

“EM made substantial progress on its cleanup missions in 2023, advancing priorities to treat tank waste, carry out deactivation and decommissioning and remediate groundwater and soil contamination,” EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White said. “We completed the majority of our calendar year 2023 priorities, and I am proud to note that those accomplishments were made possible thanks to our dedicated workforce, the communities surrounding our sites and our partners across the country.”

A tall, skinny, white, round building
A 125-foot-tall environmental exhaust stack towers over the New Filter Building, one of two buildings that make up the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

EM achieved or exceeded several key priorities in CY 2023, including:

  • Beginning commissioning of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s new large-scale ventilation system, also known as the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System. When completed and online, the facility — the largest containment ventilation system in the DOE complex — will significantly increase airflow to the nation’s only deep geological salt repository for defense-related transuranic waste.
  • Pretreating more than 800,000 gallons of tank waste cumulatively at the Hanford Site that is staged to feed to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant when hot commissioning of melters begins.
  • Authorizing the newest mega-size disposal unit to begin operating at the Savannah River Site, marking the last step before the Saltstone Disposal Unit 8 begins to receive decontaminated material for disposal. The unit was completed three years ahead of schedule.
  • Finishing demolition of four buildings at the Test Cell C Facility ahead of schedule at the Nevada National Security Sites. The facility was part of the now-inactive Nuclear Rocket Development Station, which supported development and testing of nuclear rocket engines from 1957 until 1973.
  • Retrieving the last spent nuclear fuel from a water-filled basin and safely transferred possession of the fuel elements to a complex at the Idaho National Laboratory Site, completing the project more than nine months ahead of a milestone under an agreement with the state of Idaho.
  • Safely completing demolition of the Low Intensity Test Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which clears away another high-risk excess contaminated facility, reduces risk and opens land for expanding research missions at the laboratory.
  • Completing the safe and successful removal of 1 million pounds of hazardous refrigerant stored at the Paducah Site — the third year the site has risen to this million-mark challenge.
  • Ordering at least 150 electric vehicles to support EM-wide fleet goals.

EM will announce its mission and priorities for CY 2024 shortly.