The Decontamination & Decommissioning (D&D) Program at the Portsmouth Site addresses deactivation, demolition and disposal of approximately 415 facilities currently identified on the Portsmouth site. This includes the three massive Gaseous Diffusion Process buildings that housed the process equipment and span the size of 158 football fields. Other structures include support facilities such as electrical switchyards, cooling towers, cleaning and decontamination facilities, water and wastewater treatment plants, maintenance and laboratory facilities, and storage and office buildings. D&D activities will eliminate groundwater contamination sources and reduce surveillance and maintenance costs.
An Action Memorandum for the Plant Support Buildings and Structures was issued in 2012 for the D&D of 46 plant support buildings and structures, including associated materials or equipment. In 2015, the Ohio EPA and DOE agreed upon a plan to demolish the huge process buildings and associated facilities and auxiliary systems. The Record of Decision (ROD) for the Process Buildings and Complex Facilities D&D Project was finalized following a multi-year public outreach process, public meetings and an extended four-month public-comment period.
During D&D, contaminated facilities are prepared for demolition by deactivating utilities and removing stored waste, materials, piping, and process equipment such as converters and compressors. Large equipment is dismantled, analyzed for possible removal of contaminants or valuable materials, and downsized for more efficient disposal. State-of-the-art optical, robotic and remote-control technologies are being used to create a safer work environment and better efficiency.
To manage the bulk of the waste and debris generated from demolishing the massive process buildings, numerous and thorough evaluations were preformed, alternatives were evaluated, and a decision was finalized by Ohio EPA and DOE to build an onsite waste facility for much of the demolition debris. The Portsmouth Waste Disposition Record of Decision was finalized following a multi-year public outreach process, public meetings and an extended four-month public-comment period in 2015.
In a coordinated effort, the landfills and plumes in the central plant area will be remediated to provide the needed fill material around the demolition debris in the disposal facility. The result will be an approximately 1,000-acre industrial site available for transfer and redevelopment as the DOE cleanup mission winds down. Some property within the Portsmouth Site has already been transferred to the local community to take advantage of existing infrastructure to support economic development.