Beginning in the 1970s, the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) has reviewed radiological conditions at more than 600 sites that had been potentially involved in early atomic weapon and energy activities.
Sites considered by FUSRAP were evaluated to see if they needed to be cleaned up. Currently, 54 sites have been designated for cleanup under FUSRAP; over 550 have been eliminated from further consideration under FUSRAP. The basis for such determinations is recorded in programmatic protocols and guidelines/criteria derived primarily from Federal regulations and legislation.
Extensive records research has revealed that the amount and the detail of information available about a site depends in large part on the duration and intensity of operations and the health and safety implications on a given site. Larger, more complex operations produced more extensive paper trails. Conversely, the lack of information/documentation on a given site is an indication that the work done at the site was of limited duration and complexity. Most likely the work did not involve materials or operations with extensive health and safety implications. Furthermore, such conditions also indicate that the potential for finding additional, meaningful information about the site is remote.
Designated sites are those that had collected documentation that indicated a potential for residual radioactive contamination on the site because of operations in support of MED and/or AEC activities.
Eliminated sites are those that were eliminated from further consideration for remediation under FUSRAP based upon findings derived from studies and analyses conducted by DOE. Principal findings that resulted in the elimination of a site from further consideration have been: (1) records do not support a finding of DOE authority for cleanup of the site; (2) no indication that radioactive materials were used at the site; or (3) if present, residual radioactive material on the site does not exceed current criteria and guidelines.
Our online Considered Sites Database provides digital access to some 1,500 key documents from the Considered Sites Library. The database includes sites remediated under FUSRAP and sites eliminated from consideration for remediation under FUSRAP in the database.
Ten fields in the database provide concise historical and current status descriptions of each eliminated site:
- FUSRAP-Designated Name: A site's designated name is the official name used in formal documentation supporting the designation of the site for remedial action. For sites that were not designated for remediation under FUSRAP, "Not Designated" will be entered in this field.
- Alternate Site Name(s): Over time, sites were referred to by different names or titles by DOE and by other federal agencies. The most common alternate names are included to help identify sites and prevent duplication of sites in the database.
- Site Location: If applicable, a complete street address, including number, street, city, and state, is provided. However, in most instances, particularly for those sites that involve large land areas where land use has changed over the years, specific street addresses are not available. In such cases, street intersections and legal descriptions are used if they are available.
- Evaluation Year: The year in which the decision was made to eliminate a site from FUSRAP.
- Site Operations: A brief description of the operations conducted on the site in support of MED or early AEC programs and activities.
- Site Disposition: The basis of the decision to eliminate a site from FUSRAP, such as "no authority" or "residual radioactivity below criteria" is provided. In most instances, a finding of "no authority" is followed by indication of a referral of the site to another Federal or state agency for consideration.
- Radioactive Materials Handled: Yes, No, or None Indicated. If yes, the primary radioactive materials are identified in the next field.
- Primary Radioactive Materials Handled: The primary radioactive elements (thorium, uranium, and some transuranic elements) present on the site are identified. In some instances, nonradioactive elements such as beryllium, zirconium, and other rare metals are also identified.
- Radiological Surveys: Yes, No, or None Indicated. If yes, all available reports of surveys conducted are identified as reference documents.
- Site Status: This category indicates that these sites were considered for FUSRAP but were eliminated from the program because of "no authority" or other indications that the site did not warrant inclusion in FUSRAP. Referral of the site to another federal agency may also be indicated.
As part of our Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), we maintain the Considered Sites Library at the LM Business Center (LMBC) storage facility, a National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)-certified, state-of the-art, climate-controlled area. The 83-cubic-feet paper collection contains record of Manhattan Engineer District (MED) and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) contracted work performed by private and academic parties at hundreds of locations. For many of the FUSRAP sites, the library contains the only remaining record of that work.