Mission

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Secretary of Energy Rick Perry May 11, 2017 visits the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to discuss how waste is emplaced.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry May 11, 2017 visits the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to discuss how waste is emplaced.

The EM mission is to complete the safe cleanup of environmental legacy resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research. EM is responsible for managing and directing the cleanup of contaminated nuclear weapons manufacturing and testing sites across the United States. Integral to that responsibility is the need to safely disposition large volumes of nuclear waste, safeguard and prepare for disposition of nuclear materials that could be used in nuclear weapons, deactivate and decommission several thousand radiologically and chemically contaminated facilities no longer needed to support the Department of Energy's mission and remediate extensive surface and groundwater contamination. 

EM's first priority is to ensure the safety and health of the public and EM's workforce while continuing to protect the environment. EM carries out the mission using sound business practices, innovative management approaches, and science and technology to reduce risks and costs within the EM regulatory framework.

  • EM is constructing and operating facilities to treat radioactive liquid tank waste into a safe, stable form to enable ultimate disposition.
  • EM is securing and storing nuclear material in a stable, safe configuration in secure locations to protect national security.
  • EM is transporting and disposing of transuranic and low-level wastes in a safe and cost effective manner to reduce risk.
  • EM is decontaminating and decommissioning facilities that provide no further value to reduce long-term liabilities and maximize resources for cleanup.
  • EM is remediating groundwater and soil contaminated with the radioactive and hazardous constituents.
  • EM is fulfilling its commitments to reduce risk and complete cleanup across all sites for the generations to come.
  • EM is planning for a DOE long-term management and storage facility for U.S. elemental mercury.
2018 National Cleanup Workshop logo

The National Cleanup Workshops are intended to gather leaders in the area of environmental and radioactive waste cleanup to discuss near-term challenges and opportunities, share lessons learned, and chart a sustainable path forward for the Environmental Management program mission.

Learn More about the National Cleanup Workshops

Cleanup Site Arial Photo

“It is a priority of this Department to address our cleanup responsibilities in a smart way that reduces risks, advances critical national security and science missions, protects the environment and achieves good value for American taxpayers. My visits to EM sites this year showcased steady and effective cleanup progress and provided a glimpse at the nuclear workforce of tomorrow.” – Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy

Learn more about the Year in Review

As pictured in the above left photo, similar structures were also used for “clock alleys,” where construction workers punch their time cards as they enter and leave their areas each day.

Originally, DuPont hired and trained individuals to serve on their own security force instead of contracting a security firm. As pictured in the above left photo, similar structures were also used for “clock alleys,” where construction workers punch their time cards as they enter and leave their areas each day.

Learn more about the history of EM