WEST VALLEY, N.Y. – The West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) continues to prepare for the future teardown of the Main Plant Process Building. Beginning demolition of the facility this year is among EM's ambitious 2021 priorities.
With 98% of the building’s contamination removed over the past two decades, crews with WVDP cleanup contractor CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley will address 30% of the remaining contamination embedded in the building’s concrete in the next several months. Any contamination left will be fixed in place and carefully removed during deconstruction of the Main Plant.
Among the innovative technologies West Valley is using to rid the building of contamination is liquid nitrogen. Decontamination is accomplished by applying this application to remove a portion of the contaminated surface and safely collect the material in a vacuum system for disposal. This method allows for efficient removal of contamination with minimal waste.
The site recently hosted a town hall-style public meeting in which the site’s subject-matter experts discussed the project with members of the public. West Valley conducted the meeting in adherence with federal COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our goal is to be transparent in the way we communicate our ongoing cleanup activities with the public, especially when it pertains to the demolition of the Main Plant,” said Moira Maloney, EM WVDP’s regulatory strategy and environmental compliance team leader. “The best way to accomplish this was to provide an opportunity for residents to have an open and direct dialog with subject-matter experts who could answer their questions and concerns.”
The meeting began with an overview of the project. Organizers played a video on West Valley’s environmental monitoring that features the site’s subject-matter experts. Attendees also visited information stations and talked with the subject-matter experts, who covered topics such as air monitoring, water management, radiation protection, waste management and transportation, demolition equipment and the demolition approach, environmental monitoring, and emergency management.
“I am so proud of the team that pulled the meeting together,” EM WVDP Director Bryan Bower said. “Informing the local residents about our plans for the Main Plant Process Building demolition, while keeping everyone safe during the COVID pandemic, was handled flawlessly.”
A second town hall-style meeting is scheduled for Sept. 29.
West Valley will continue to provide briefings and hold discussions requested by the public during its quarterly public meetings, which are currently held virtually. The next quarterly public meeting is Nov. 17. Contact the site at (716) 942-4996 for more information.
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