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2023 Year in Review
Matt Roberts

2023 Year in Review Highlights Progress

Hanford Site
  • Heated up the first melter and poured the first test glass at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant.
Idaho Cleanup Project
  • Completed transfer of all spent nuclear fuel from wet-to-dry storage.
EM Los Alamos Field Office
  • Exceeded transuranic waste shipment goal for planned shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
Oak Ridge
  • Completed demolition on the Low Intensity Test Reactor and began early site preparation for the Environmental Management Disposal Facility.
Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office
  • Completed waste placement of 163,000 cubic yards from the X-326 Process Building demolition in the On-Site Waste Disposal Facility at the Portsmouth Site.
  • Removed an additional 1 million pounds of hazardous R-114 refrigerant at the Paducah Site.
Savannah River Site
  • Completed construction of Saltstone Disposal Unit 8.
Small Site Progress
  • Completed removal of a cumulative 14 million tons of material from the Moab Site.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
  • Received 473 waste shipments from generator sites and began commissioning the new Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System.
West Valley Demonstration Project
  • Demolished and disposed of 9,000 tons of Main Plant Process Building waste.
Read the 2023 Year in Review Report

2022 Year in Review Highlights 

Hanford Site
  • Began the first large-scale treatment of waste from large underground storage tanks with the start of Tank-Side Cesium Removal System operations — an EM 2022 priority.
  • Completed construction of a protective enclosure, or “cocoon,” around K East Reactor —an EM 2022 priority.
Idaho Cleanup Project
  • Completed exhumation of 5.69 acres of the Radioactive Waste Management Complex Subsurface Disposal Area — an EM 2022 priority.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Completed 52 transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, surpassing an EM 2022 priority.
  • Began an EM Los Alamos strategic vision plan with stakeholder input for remaining legacy cleanup campaigns at the Los Alamos National Laboratory site.
Oak Ridge
  • Completed cleanup and transfer of the Biology Complex area — an EM 2022 priority.
  • Began processing uranium-233 material in hot cells — an EM 2022 priority.
Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office
  • Completed demolition of the 2.6 million-square-foot X-326 process building at the Portsmouth Site — an EM 2022 priority.
  • Transferred 200 acres of land from the Portsmouth Site to the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative, reducing the federal footprint and expanding opportunities for reindustrialization.
  • Completed the disposition of an additional 1 million pounds of refrigerant currently stored at the Paducah Site — an EM 2022 priority.
Savannah River Site
  • Treated more than 2.1 million gallons of tank waste and removed over 3.7 million curies from the waste.
Small Site Progress
  • Continued characterization and hazard reduction activities to prepare for demolition and closure of two legacy facilities at the Nevada National Security Site.
  • Disposed a cumulative 13 million tons of the estimated 16 million tons of uranium mill tailings at the Moab Site in Utah ― an EM 2022 priority.
  • Completed disposal of building demolition debris at the Energy Technology Engineering Center site in California.
  • Completed the Building 280 Reactor Removal Project and finished waste disposal from the demolition of Building 175 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
  • Received 235 transuranic waste shipments from five generator sites.
  • Reached a depth of more than 700 feet for a new utility shaft towards the targeted depth of 2,275 feet.
  • Increased stakeholder engagement activities in northern New Mexico.
West Valley Demonstration Project
  • Launched Main Plant Process Building demolition — an EM 2022 priority.

2021 Year in Review Highlights

Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Completed demolition of the High Flux Beam Reactor exhaust stack.
Energy Technology Engineering Center
  • Completed demolition of all DOE-owned buildings—an EM 2021 priority.
Hanford Site
  • Completed construction and startup testing of all Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant facilities needed to start immobilizing tank waste in glass using vitrification.
  • Completed building and testing the Tank-Side Cesium Removal system that will start treating tank waste in 2022 to build up a supply to feed directly to the vitrification facility in 2023—an EM 2021 priority.
Idaho Cleanup Project
  • Completed more than 50 equipment modifications focused on contamination control and off-gas filters in preparation for operations at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit at the DOE Idaho National Laboratory Site. The facility will convert about 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste into a granular solid.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Completed cleanup of Bayview Parcel 1 South and Parcel 1 North.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Completed demolition to slab of Building 175, the MARS E-Beam Facility—an EM 2021 priority.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Certified and completed 30 legacy transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant—an EM 2021 priority.
  • Completed a planned investigation of 124 unique locations along DP Middle Road site in the Los Alamos townsite.
Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project
  • Reached a cumulative total of more than 12 million tons of residual radioactive material shipped from Moab to Crescent Junction, Utah—an EM 2021 priority.
Nevada National Security Site
  • Safely and securely disposed of approximately 550,000 cubic feet of classified low level radioactive waste (LLW) / mixed low level radioactive waste in support of DOE cleanup and activities at federal sites across the United States involved in nuclear research, development and testing, and ongoing national security and science missions.
  • Completed the Nevada National Security Site Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Complex infrastructure expansion project to allow for future construction of LLW disposal cells.
Oak Ridge
  • Completed demolition of the Biology Complex—an EM 2021 priority.
  • Processed and disposed the low-dose portion of Oak Ridge’s uranium-233 inventory and provided medical isotopes for next-generation cancer research.
Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office
  • Initiated demolition activities on the X-326 process building at Portsmouth and demolished 40 percent of the building – the first of three massive structures being demolished—an EM 2021 priority.
  • Opened the Portsmouth On-Site Waste Disposal Facility and moved the first demolition debris generated from deactivation and decommissioning at the site into the facility.
  • Completed deactivation of the C-530 switchyard at Paducah, the last of four switchyards that supported electrical needs equivalent to a large city for legacy uranium enrichment operations.
Savannah River National Laboratory
  • Opened the Critical Infrastructure, Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Laboratory at the Georgia Cyber Center in downtown Augusta, Georgia, establishing the laboratory’s physical presence in the state.
  • Leading a multi-lab/multi-institution Advanced Long-Term Environmental Monitoring Systems technology development project to reduce EM and Office of Legacy Management sampling and long-term monitoring costs. 
Savannah River Site
  • Processed more than 2 million gallons of waste at the Salt Waste Processing Facility in its first year of operations—an EM 2021 priority.
  • Completed construction eight months ahead of schedule and $32 million under budget for Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) 7, the second mega-sized SDU built at the Site to permanently dispose of decontaminated saltstone—an EM 2021 priority.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
  • Received more than 200 transuranic waste shipments in the past year, and more than 13,000 since the facility opened in 1999.
  • Began mining the West Access Drifts—an EM 2021 priority.
West Valley Demonstration Project
  • Continued preparation for the Main Plant Process Building demolition by installing a new water collection and treatment system, and by repurposing an administrative trailer complex into a multipurpose building to support demolition activities.


2020 Year in Review Highlights

  • Completing the East Tennessee Technology Park Vision 2020 at Oak Ridge, which became the first site in the world to remove an entire uranium enrichment complex.
  • Starting operations at the first-of-a-kind Salt Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site  — the last major piece of the site’s liquid waste treatment system — with the potential to process as much as 9 million gallons of liquid waste per year.
  • Achieving significant advancement of two other key components of DOE’s tank waste treatment mission:
    • Increasing progress in construction, startup, and commissioning that are critical to the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste system at the Hanford Site.
    • Continuing modifications at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, which will turn about 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste into a granular solid at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory Site.
  • Completing demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant, which was once the highest risk building at the Hanford Site.
  • Breaking ground on a 2,275-foot deep utility shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a key infrastructure piece to support future operations at the site.
  • Resuming cleanup at the Energy Technology Engineering Center after more than a decade, including demolition of a dozen buildings and setting a path to completing demolition of all DOE-owned buildings at the site in 2021. 
  • Reaching a milestone 11 million tons of mill tailings shipped from a former uranium ore processing site in Moab, Utah, to a disposal cell near Crescent Junction, Utah.
  • Completing remediation activities on and around the historic Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, and conveying 70 sites to the DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) for long term stewardship — the first EM-to-LM transfer in more than a decade.
  • Completing site restoration at the Separations Process Research Unit in New York State and turning the site back to the DOE Office of Naval Reactors.
  • Implementing the full Interim Measure for addressing the chromium plume at Los Alamos to hold the spread of chromium contamination within the site boundaries as a final solution is developed and put in place.
  • Successfully implementing the Department’s first application of its science-based high-level radioactive waste interpretation through the shipment of a small quantity of waste from the Savannah River Site for safe off-site treatment and disposal.
  • Putting in place the first end-state style contracts at the Hanford and Nevada sites, with several others progressing across the EM complex.

2019 Year in Review Highlights

  • Issuing the Department’s interpretation of the term “high-level radioactive waste,” which could offer more options to address tank waste, one of the department’s largest environmental challenges
  • Awarding the first “end-state”-focused contract at Hanford, which defines work in segments easier to track and accomplish, and concentrates effort on mission completion
  • Completing the transfer of K-Basin radioactive sludge at Hanford to safer on-site storage away from the Columbia River
  • Successfully completing an 11-year demonstration of interim salt waste processing capability at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina
  • Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, which also marked receipt of the 12,500th shipment of transuranic waste for disposal at the New Mexico site
  • Completing the waste treatment mission at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project at the Idaho cleanup site
  • Marking 10 years of operation and reaching the milestone of shipping 10 million tons (out of 16 million tons) of waste from the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings (UMTRA) site and away from the Colorado River in Utah 
  • Completing field work and site restoration at the Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU) in New York State

2018 Year in Review Highlights

  • Demolishing the 50-foot-tall, 10,000-square-foot vitrification facility at the West Valley Demonstration Project        
  • Consolidating more than 400,000 cubic yards of coal ash and ash-contaminated soil at the Savannah River Site (SRS), completed 14 months ahead of schedule, saving $9 million, and resulting in the SRS management and operations contractor receiving the Project Management Institute Award for Project Excellence
  • Completion of site preparation for construction of the Mercury Treatment Facility at the Oak Ridge Site
  • Completion of 13 fiscal 2018 Consent Order milestones at Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Finishing construction, readiness reviews, and the initiation of disposal in a state-of-the-art waste disposal cell at the Nevada National Security Site
  • Achieving nearly 1 million safe hours without a lost time accident at the Separations Process Research Unit
  • Completion of the existing scope of work in Building 5, 16, and 52/52A areas at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, resulting in the area being restored to a clean and stable site
  • Breaking ground for the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
  • Exceeding the uranium mill tailings shipment goal at EM’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project by more than 32,200 tons