|For Immediate Release||November 30, 2006|
|Media Contact:||James Giusti (803) 952-7697|
Assistant Secretary for
Marks SRS Achieving First Area Closure
S.C., – With the completion of
remediation work at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site’s
(SRS) T Area, SRS has achieved its first area closure, transforming a former
industrial area into a grassy hill.
Area is the first area at SRS closed under an “area closure” concept
endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the South Carolina
Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Under the area closure concept, entire areas are closed as one project
rather than individual waste sites within the area being closed one at a time.
The new approach saves countless man hours and regulatory paperwork, both
at SRS and at the agencies.
is a significant accomplishment, both in cleanup and in working together as a
team,” said Jim Rispoli, DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.
“From beginning to end, this has been a prime example of good teamwork
between the Department, federal and state regulators and our Site contractor.
What was once an industrial area vital to the Cold War effort is now a
small grassy hill. This serves as a
wonderful example of constructive engagement with the regulators that resulted
in accelerated cleanup and risk reduction.”
Area was chosen as the first area to close largely because of its location at
the periphery of the Site and its position on the
SRS’s production years, T Area – also known as TNX – served as the gateway
to SRS. Equipment was brought via
river to the Site and unloaded in T Area, where it was tested and evaluated
before being used in the production facilities.
More recently, T Area was used to model and evaluate the vitrification
process now used in the Defense Waste Processing Facility, where waste is safely
immobilized in glass for final disposition at a national repository.
2001, DOE decided there was no further mission for T Area. The first step in the
closure process was the demolition of the buildings in the area, which was
initiated in 2002. In the fall of
2004, that demolition work was completed, involving 28 buildings covering
128,000 square feet. The area was
then handed over to Washington Savannah River Company’s (WSRC) Soil and
Groundwater Closure Projects for final remediation.
included removal and offsite disposal of 91 cubic yards of contaminated soil,
the construction and installation of a 10-acre geosynthetic cover system, and
the application of 435,600 square feet of sod and grass over the geosynthetic
cover system. Final remediation work
was completed in August 2006, 48 months earlier than the original regulatory
area closure is not the final environmental cleanup step as groundwater
remediation will continue for several years.
is owned by DOE and operated by a team of contractors led by Washington Savannah
River Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Washington Group International.