EM recently completed demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center northwest of Los Angeles, California. The final building to be torn down, with the assistance of shaped charges, was the Sodium Pump Test Facility, shown, used for testing large pumps for liquid sodium during site operations that ended in the late 1980s.
EM recently completed demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center northwest of Los Angeles, California.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif.EM completed an important step in cleanup activities at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) when crews on Oct. 1 finished the safe demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the former Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) northwest of Los Angeles, California.

View a video of the teardown of the final DOE-owned building at ETEC here.

“This accomplishment was the direct result of an ongoing and successful collaboration with the State of California. It builds on a new era at DOE’s Office of Environmental Management as we tackle ambitious priorities and continue to shrink the footprint of EM sites,” EM Acting Assistant Secretary William “Ike” White said.

Following agreement in 2020 with the State of California, DOE safely removed the 18 remaining DOE-owned buildings at the ETEC site, which is in Area IV of the SSFL. All building materials and waste from the demolition will be removed from the site and disposed at a licensed facility outside the state. The completion of building demolition at ETEC fulfills an EM priority for 2021.

The final building to be demolished was the Sodium Pump Test Facility (SPTF). The SPTF was a nine-story industrial building used for testing large pumps for liquid sodium. The building, constructed in 1972, had a red-and-white crane structure on its roof that could be seen from various parts of Simi Valley.

EM officials gather at the site of the recent demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC). From left are EM Site Liaison Coordinator John Jones, EM Acting Director of Regulatory, Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Engagement Kristen Ellis, EM Acting Assistant Secretary William "Ike" White, Acting ETEC Federal Project Director Josh Mengers, and Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center Deputy Director Melody Bell.
EM officials gather at the site of the recent demolition of the final DOE-owned buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC).

“The demolition of the ETEC buildings marks a significant step towards the DOE’s mission to clean up its former site at the SSFL,” said Josh Mengers, acting ETEC federal project director. “We will continue cleanup efforts, which are based upon years of scientific analysis and planning. Our highest priority is protecting human health and the environment to ensure the site remains safe for nearby communities.”

A view of the Sodium Pump Test Facility at the Energy Technology Engineering Center before workers demolished the structure earlier this month. It was the last of the DOE-owned buildings at the site to come down.
A view of the Sodium Pump Test Facility at the Energy Technology Engineering Center before workers demolished the structure earlier this month. It was the last of the DOE-owned buildings at the site to come down.

The DOE worked cooperatively with the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to complete building demolition. All 18 remaining buildings were demolished in just over 15 months, while in compliance with health and safety guidelines during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With this completion, all of the more than 270 DOE-owned original structures have been demolished at ETEC since work began at the site.

The Sodium Pump Test Facility was the final DOE-owned building to be demolished at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site. Finishing the teardown of buildings once used for nuclear and liquid metals research is another important step in DOE’s cleanup activities at the site.
The Sodium Pump Test Facility was the final DOE-owned building to be demolished at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site.

With building demolition accomplished, DOE will continue to work cooperatively with DTSC on groundwater and soils remediation to complete the cleanup in Area IV.

DOE and its predecessor agencies conducted nuclear and liquid metals research at the SSFL from the 1950s to the late 1980s; ETEC, established in the 1960s, served as a premier facility for liquid metals research in the U.S.

More information about ETEC and the cleanup project can be found here.