Portsmouth Decontamination and Decommissioning Record of Decision

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have agreed upon a plan to demolish the large process buildings and other facilities undergoing decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.  The Record of Decision (ROD) for the Process Buildings and Complex Facilities D&D Project details DOE’s decision for the D&D of the plant’s three large process buildings (each more than 30 acres under roof) and other facilities and auxiliary systems.

DOE evaluated two alternatives on how to conduct the D&D of more than 200 buildings and structures under consideration. Alternative 1 was no action, which provided a basis for comparison, but the risk to human health and the environment made Alternative 1 unacceptable. DOE’s preferred alternative — Alternative 2 — includes the controlled removal of stored waste, materials, hazards, process gas equipment, and process piping. It also includes:

  - Demolition of the buildings or structures;
  - Characterization and demolition of underground man-made features;
  - Treatment as needed to meet transportation and disposal requirements;
  - Packaging of generated waste for final disposal; and
  - Transportation and disposal of the waste.

The plan also provides:

  - An opportunity for the installed portions of the site infrastructure, which are deemed valuable to the community for post-cleanup industrialization, to remain.
  - Recovery of materials from the gaseous diffusion processing equipment for possible recycling and reuse, to the extent it continues to be considered safe, cost-effective, and in the best interests of the project.
  - Promotion of recycling of building materials as an option for disposal when it can be done safely, compliantly, and in a cost-effective manner.

DOE's decision follows a multi-year outreach process that included a recent four-month public comment period and public meeting.  DOE considered all of the several hundred comments received in developing the decision documents.

A separate but related Waste Disposition ROD provides for the construction of an on-site waste disposal facility as part of the remedy for more than two million cubic yards of D&D waste.  Waste that does not meet the approved acceptance criteria for the onsite facility will be shipped off site for disposal at appropriate licensed federal or commercial disposal facilities.

To view the ROD for the Portsmouth Process Buildings and Complex Facilities D&D Project, please click on the link below.