Work on the X-231B Biodegradation Plot began last fall and involved removing more than 195,000 cubic yards of soil for use as engineered fill at the OSWDF.
“By using impacted soil from legacy groundwater plumes and old landfills onsite instead of buying clean fill for the OSWDF, environmental cleanup of the site has been accelerated, providing more remediated land for future reuse,” said Joel Bradburne, manager of the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.
The X-231B milestone was completed three days ahead of schedule. The next target to be excavated will be the nearby legacy landfill X-231A Biodegradation Plot.
Five legacy landfills and five groundwater plumes will be excavated at the Portsmouth Site to support decontamination and decommissioning.
Soil from X-231B is being used at the OSWDF as engineered fill for debris from the site’s X-326 Process Building, which was demolished earlier this year. The engineered fill must meet waste acceptance criteria governing what is permissible for the disposal facility. Each individual landfill or plume requires an approved excavation work plan to ensure safety, protectiveness and compliance.
“This was a great accomplishment for the site,” said Greg Wilkett, site project director with Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, EM's Portsmouth Site decontamination and decommissioning contractor. “It takes everyone working as a team to get a task like this completed. The accelerated environmental cleanup work was accomplished safely by project personnel providing 24-hour coverage, five days a week, in two shifts.”
To enhance the condition of the excavated soil going to the OSWDF, crews used a fast-acting drying agent to reduce moisture content in the soil and to help keep work on schedule. From there, conditioned soil is loaded onto trucks and transported to the OSWDF.
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