US DOE updates clean-up statistics

11 July 2023

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) has updated its “By the Numbers” series of publications that track progress at clean-up sites using accessible and clear infographics. They provide facts and figures on each major EM site, plus the Savannah River National Laboratory. Each site page also discusses expected achievement over the coming decade. These are described in more detail in the Strategic Vision 2023-2033.

The updated “By the Numbers” publications include the following examples:

  • Some 31.7bn gallons of contaminated groundwater have been treated in facilities along the Columbia River and in the centre of the Hanford Site.
  • More than 75,000 cubic metres of managed transuranic, mixed low-level, and low-level waste at the Idaho National Laboratory Site have been shipped offsite for disposal.
  • More than 13.5m tons of the mill tailings pile at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project have been shipped for disposal, amounting to 85% of the estimated total tons.
  • Over half of contaminated sites have been investigated and, if needed, remediated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Site. More than 19,800 soil and sediment samples have been collected.
  • About 52.5m cubic feet of low-level waste have been disposed of at the Nevada National Security Site radioactive waste disposal facilities since 1961.
  • At Oak Ridge, 3000 acres of land have been placed in a nature conservation easement for public recreation.
  • Over the next decade, the Paducah Site is targeted to ship 8.5m pounds of R-114 refrigerant offsite. To date, 3.8m pounds have been shipped.
  • At the Energy Technology Engineering Centre, more than 15,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater have been removed due to successful interim groundwater remediation and site readiness to implement corrective measures.
  • More than 994m gallons of groundwater from four onsite plumes have been treated and are currently managed by pump-and-treat and slurry wall technology at the Portsmouth Site.
  • The Savannah River Site's Defense Waste Processing Facility has produced more than 4370 canisters of glassified radioactive waste since it began operations in 1996.
  • Over 73,300 cubic metres of waste have been disposed of in the underground mine at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
  • More than $5bn in complex-wide savings for the EM programme have been achieved due to innovations developed in the past 10 years at the Savannah River National Laboratory.
  • At the West Valley Demonstration Project, 69 surplus facilities have been removed from the site.

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