The Office of Environmental Management (EM) was established to mitigate risks and hazards posed by the legacy of nuclear weapons production and research. The most ambitious and far ranging of these missions is dealing with the environmental impacts of the Cold War. EM operational requirements are unique and include the packaging and transportation of large quantities of contaminated wastes and soil, and a vast number of contaminated structures during remediation of contaminated sites. The Department of Energy (DOE) completed more than 8,400 offsite hazardous material shipments over public roads totaling more than 4.2 million miles in fiscal year (FY) 2016 with no recordable packaging and transportation accidents. Of that, EM completed approximately 6,800 (about 81% of the Department’s total) radioactive, hazardous material and waste shipments totaling approximately 3.3 million miles.
The mission of the DOE Office of Packaging and Transportation (OPT), positioned within EM, is to manage and establish policy, provide leadership, guidance, support, and oversight to assure that Departmental-wide packaging and transportation of radioactive and other hazardous materials are safe, regulatory-compliant, carefully planned, executed, tracked, secure, timely and efficient. Through execution of its mission, OPT continues to support the needs of DOE programs, sites, and operations and to protect the health and safety of workers and the public. OPT provides DOE centralized support, expertise, and efficiency that cannot be provided through a site-by-site approach. This report serves to communicate accomplishments of the program and activities that OPT continues to champion for the DOE complex.
Major OPT accomplishments in FY 2016 include:
- Transporting hazardous materials more than 4.2 million miles with no Department of Transportation recordable packaging or transportation accidents.
- Completing 41 package certification actions related to review and approval of new transportation packages, amendments, renewals, special approvals, and terminations.
- Facilitating the exchange of 75 excess U.S. Department of Transportation 7A Type A Fissile Qualified reusable containers from Oak Ridge Office to the Portsmouth and Paducah sites, and the Idaho National Laboratory.
- Performing four Motor Carrier Evaluation Program (MCEP) evaluations on motor carriers involved in transporting the Department’s hazardous materials. One of the MCEP evaluations was to add a new motor carrier to the MCEP list of approved transporters. This motor carrier supports the Moab Project in shipping of radioactive debris from Moab to the Crescent Junction disposal cell.
- At the request of the Nevada Site Specific Advisory Board, OPT developed and provided an MCEP program training session for the Advisory Board. The training included a question and answer session for participating Board members.
- Sponsoring and serving as the DOE advisor in coordination of the summer and winter DOE Transportation Management Council (TMC) and DOE Packaging Management Council (PMC) operations meetings. TMC and PMC meetings are attended by DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and their site transportation and packaging contractors. These meetings provide forums for identification, analysis, and resolution of traffic management, packaging and transportation operations, safety, and security issues.
- Collaborating with subject matter experts from the Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Energy, and NNSA to revise DOE Order 460.1C, Hazardous Materials Packaging and Transportation Safety. The new Order, 460.1D, was approved by the Deputy Secretary on December 20, 2016.
- Providing 138 Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program courses in 17 states to train more than 2,900 first responders. These sessions were planned and presented in partnership with state and tribal instructors, emergency responders, as well as with instructors from the DOE Radiological Assistance Program and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
- Hosting the 2016 Annual Meeting of the National Transportation Stakeholders Forum in partnership with the Southern States Energy Board and the Tribal Caucus in Orlando, Florida. More than 200 registrants at the event gathered from federal agencies, state, local, and tribal governments, private industry and other entities to communicate and exchange timely updates and presentations on packaging and transportation subjects and issues, and to participate in various breakout sessions on relevant topics. The Forum also presented an opportunity for Tribal Caucus and State Regional Groups to meet and discuss issues of significance to their regional caucuses.