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Press Release

News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release: September 18, 2017

Department of Energy National Labs Recognized as International
R&D Hub by International Atomic Energy Agency

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perryand International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano celebrated the designation of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as an International Centre based on Research Reactors (ICERR).

The IAEA designation makes the United States one of only three countries identified for unique capabilities and excellence in nuclear research, joining France and Russia. The world-class facilities at ORNL and INL support scientific discovery, medical and industrial isotope applications, and the advancement of nuclear fission, fusion energy, and global security technologies.

The ICERR recognition encourages designees to collaborate in ways that maximize the use of research reactors in all IAEA member states.

"I am incredibly proud to accept this prestigious designation on behalf of the United States, the Department of Energy, and our National lab system," said Secretary Perry. "This is a tremendous honor recognizing the critical work being conducted at DOE's Oak Ridge and Idaho national laboratories, and it highlights the importance of our nuclear research facilities and the scientific and nuclear security contributions they bring to the world."

ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and associated nuclear facilities for post-irradiation testing of materials and processing of radioisotopes provide unique capabilities only available through DOE.

Operating at 85 megawatts, HFIR is the highest flux reactor-based source of neutrons in the United States, and it provides one of the highest steady-state neutron fluxes in the world. Every year, more than 500 researchers use its thermal and cold neutrons to perform neutron scattering experiments, in the study of physics, chemistry, materials, engineering, biology and nuclear forensics. Recent research results are helping to develop better drugs for diseases such as HIV, improving the efficiency and durability of 3D-printed rocket parts, and improving the safety and efficiency of batteries in cell phones and cars. HFIR, coupled with ORNL’s hot cell and other nuclear facilities, enables a diverse range of nuclear science and technology research, from examining materials for next-generation reactors to developing new types of nuclear fuel.

ORNL is a global leader for the production of many important isotopes, including plutonium-238, which fuels NASA’s deep space exploration efforts; californium-252, which is used for real-time sulfur analysis in the power industry; nickel-63, which is used in explosive detectors at airports; radium-223, which aids palliative treatment for metastatic cancer; and berkelium-249, which recently enabled the discovery of tennessine, element 117.

INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), Transient Reactor Experiment and Test (TREAT) reactor, nuclear fuel fabrication facilities, and nuclear facilities for post-irradiation examination (PIE) of nuclear fuels and materials provide unmatched capabilities all in one geographic location.

The ATR can operate at up to 250 megawatts and also provides a steady-state neutron flux for numerous researchers all at the same time. There are 77 test locations within the core and beryllium reflector of the reactor, including six locations that replicate physical conditions – temperature, pressure, chemistry and flow [SO1] – of various power plants. Nine of the 77 locations are referred to as “flux traps” due to their positions near the fuel, and experiments can be from one-half inch to five inches in diameter and up to four feet long. ATR simultaneously provides irradiation of nuclear fuels, materials and isotopes for the U.S. Navy, DOE research programs, industry, universities and international customers.

In addition to the steady-state capabilities of ATR, the TREAT reactor will soon provide researchers the ability to test current and new nuclear fuel designs in off-normal reactor conditions. The TREAT will provide very brief, very intense power surges, replicating severe accident conditions. In less than one second, fuels can be exposed to up to 18,000 megawatts thermal energy.

INL has the capability to fabricate nuclear fuel or materials specimens, irradiate them in steady-state or transient conditions, and perform PIE on the experiments in the largest inert hot cell in the United States. Capabilities are being brought online to provide unprecedented examinations of irradiated materials, providing researchers across the nation and around the world even greater understanding of the processes in nuclear reactions, fuels, and materials.

INL is the nation’s lead-laboratory for nuclear research as well as leading DOE’s Nuclear Science User Facility, providing access to nuclear research capabilities at national laboratories, universities, and industry facilities.

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Press Release

News Media Contact:
Don Miley, 208-821-4298, donald.miley@inl.gov

Sarah Neumann, 208-520-1651, sarah.neumann@inl.gov


Idaho National Laboratory celebrates Advanced Test Reactor’s 50th anniversary

IDAHO FALLS—On June 29, employees and visitors gathered at Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor to celebrate the contributions of the ATR to advance nuclear energy research.

In a prepared video message, Idaho’s congressional delegation recognized the achievement and the critical role the ATR plays in securing our nation’s energy future. The video is available at this link.

The ATR, along with its predecessors, the Materials Testing Reactor and Engineering Test Reactor (now both decommissioned), has produced much of the world’s data on the behavior of materials and fuels in the radiation environments inside nuclear power reactors. This information has contributed significantly to the safety of commercial nuclear power plants worldwide and the outstanding performance of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear fleet.

INL Laboratory Director Mark Peters said, “The Advanced Test Reactor truly is one of the crown jewels of this laboratory. Capabilities at ATR and the Materials and Fuels Complex allow INL, working with industry and academia, to ensure the competitiveness of nuclear energy for decades to come.”

Among its many features, the ATR is designed as a virtual “time machine” to study the effects of radiation on reactor materials and fuels. It enables scientists to place materials in the reactor and then expose those materials to high concentrations of neutrons, to duplicate in only weeks or months the years of exposure that such materials would experience in, for example, a commercial reactor’s radiation environment. This capability enables researchers to understand how materials and fuels will behave over their lifetime in many types of reactors.

The ATR’s core design allows many experiments to be conducted simultaneously, with each experiment receiving a different and carefully controlled level of radiation. The ATR has been safely performing these valuable tests since July 2, 1967.

The U.S. Navy is the ATR’s primary customer. Results of those tests have allowed the Navy to maintain an outstanding safety record and extend the at-sea life of nuclear-powered vessels.

For many years, the ATR has supported tests for a number of other customers, including the nuclear agencies of other countries and industry. In 2007, the Department of Energy designated the ATR a Nuclear Science User Facility. As a science user facility, the ATR offers unique domestic capabilities for nuclear fuel and reactor materials system development that universities, industry and regulatory agencies can utilize.

The ATR has also been the source of valuable medical and industrial isotopes, such as cobalt-60. Medical isotopes can help treat cancer, diagnose disorders, or address ailments such as arthritis and hyperthyroidism. Millions of patients around the world benefit from nuclear medicine.

Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.


See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow @INL on Twitter or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IdahoNationalLaboratory.



—INL-17-022—



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Press Release

News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 18, 2017


Energy Department Announces New Awards for Advanced Nuclear Energy Development

Washington—The Department of Energy today announced $5 million to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy. The awards include 58 undergraduate scholarships and 31 graduate-level fellowships for students at U.S. colleges and universities.

“Nuclear innovation is a top priority of the Administration. We are committed to assisting in the development of future researchers who will help advance breakthrough technologies that could revolutionize the nuclear energy industry. These brilliant future researchers will support the nuclear energy research needs of tomorrow,” said Raymond Furstenau, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy.

Each undergraduate scholarship provides $7,500 to help cover education costs for the upcoming year, while the three-year graduate fellowships provide $50,000 each year to help pay for graduate studies and research. Fellowships also include $5,000 to fund a summer internship at a U.S. national laboratory or other approved research facility to strengthen the ties between students and the Department’s energy research programs.

Since 2009, the Energy Department has awarded nearly $38 million to nearly 700 students for nuclear energy-related scholarships and fellowships. Ninety-eight percent of the students who have completed nuclear energy-related fellowships have subsequently pursued careers in nuclear energy fields at the Department’s national laboratories, other government agencies, academic institutions or private companies. Seven former fellowship winners are now university professors doing nuclear energy related research and three were competitively awarded Office of Nuclear Energy R&D awards.

Find additional information about the Department’s nuclear energy scholarships and fellowships awarded today at the Nuclear Energy University Program website.



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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY IDAHO OPERATIONS OFFICE
1955 Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83403

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2016

Media Contact:

Danielle Miller, (208) 526-5709 
millerdc@id.doe.gov

Eric Simpson, (208) 360-0426 
Eric.Simpson@icp.doe.gov

Crews at the DOE Idaho Site Complete Transuranic Waste Retrieval

Idaho Falls, Idaho - For more than 20 years, a gigantic building – covering seven acres of land at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho site – has been the temporary storage location for hundreds of thousands of containers filled with radioactively contaminated materials.

About the size of an aircraft carrier, the Transuranic Storage Area-Retrieval Enclosure (TSA-RE) covered an earthen berm that protected more than 50,000 cubic meters of metal drums and boxes containing transuranic waste. In February, the final box was safely retrieved bringing an end to retrieval activities at the Department’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, located 50 miles west of Idaho Falls, ID. An additional 15,000 cubic meters of waste had been stored in nearby storage modules and is included in the project.

Retrieval of the above-ground stored transuranic waste was scheduled to be completed by this May. But an experienced workforce, innovative tools, and a safe work mindset enabled the project to finish ahead of schedule.

“Completing the retrieval of the waste stored in TSA-RE is an important achievement for the Department of Energy,” said Jack Zimmerman, Deputy Manager for the Idaho Cleanup Project at the DOE Idaho Operations Office. “Retrieving waste that has been buried in an earthen berm for nearly 40 years is a complicated task, and to complete the work safely and ahead of schedule is a testament to the experience and tenacity of this project’s employees.”

When excavation and retrieval activities started in 2003, backhoes and shovels were used to remove dirt from the 35-foot tall earthen berm to start retrieving drums and boxes. The first containers retrieved, having been under the berm the least amount of time, were in good structural shape and could be safely removed and stored, prior to their characterization, treatment, and shipment out of Idaho. However, as the project progressed to the older containers, the condition of the containers was noticeably degraded.

“The complexity and hazards that retrieval crews faced while performing their work cannot be overstated. Many of the final drums and boxes were degraded after decades under dirt, challenging our workers,” said Fred Hughes, Program Manager for Idaho Cleanup Project Core contractor Fluor Idaho. “Understanding what they were up against, these skilled crews, working with robust administrative and engineered controls, made remarkable progress in further protecting the Snake River Plain Aquifer.” Fluor Idaho oversees environmental management work for the Department of Energy at its Idaho site.

During the final five years of retrieval, crews reached containers that had been under the dirt for decades; many degraded containers were encountered. Through a thoughtful, deliberate approach, specially developed tools, and a confidence borne from experienced crews were able to remove the degraded containers, repack the materials into new sturdy containers, and complete retrieval of the waste without any unexpected release of contamination, serious injury, or incident. steel-framed, fabric-sided building. Waste exhumation in that building is expected to continue into 2017. Construction of the building over the ninth and final area within the SDA began in July of 2016 and should be complete in 2017. Waste exhumation will begin post-construction and is expected to be completed in 2020.

Each of the drums and boxes retrieved from the TSA-RE has, or will be, repackaged and prepared for shipment out of Idaho for final disposal in accordance with the 1995 Idaho Settlement Agreement.

DOE-ICP-17-001



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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY IDAHO OPERATIONS OFFICE
1955 Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83403

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2016

Media Contact:

Danielle Miller, (208) 526-5709 
millerdc@id.doe.gov

Eric Simpson, (208) 360-0426 
Eric.Simpson@icp.doe.gov

Crews at the DOE Idaho Site Complete Buried Waste Cleanup Accomplishment

Crews with Fluor Idaho, LLC, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho Site have completed a significant cleanup accomplishment that further protects the underlying Snake River Plain Aquifer, the primary drinking and irrigation water source for more than 300,000 Idahoans.

Workers recently satisfied a provision of a 2008 agreement among the DOE, state of Idaho and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by packaging a total of 7,485 cubic meters of exhumed hazardous and radioactive waste that was generated at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production plant near Denver and was then buried in Idaho in the 1950s and 1960s. The amount of waste exhumed is equivalent to nearly 36,000 55-gallon drums of material.

Per the agreement, crews will continue to remove radioactive and hazardous waste from a combined area of 5.69 acres of the unlined 97-acre landfill called the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA) at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC). To date, Fluor Idaho and two previous contractors have exhumed waste from 4.24 acres, and the project remains about two years ahead of schedule. Fluor Idaho will continue exhumation until all of the 5.69 acres are exhumed.

Once exhumed, characterized and repackaged, the waste is shipped out of Idaho for disposal. Following the completion of waste exhumation, a soil cap will be installed over the entire SDA.

To complete the 2008 agreement between the DOE, state of Idaho the EPA, just two of nine different areas within the 97-acre SDA are left to be exhumed.

The waste exhumation project, which began in 2005, is targeting removal of the highest concentrations of solvents and transuranic radionuclides (such as plutonium and americium) buried in the landfill.

Currently, Fluor Idaho crews are 56 percent complete on the eighth area, and are working to remove hazardous and radioactive buried waste within a steel-framed, fabric-sided building. Waste exhumation in that building is expected to continue into 2017. Construction of the building over the ninth and final area within the SDA began in July of 2016 and should be complete in 2017. Waste exhumation will begin post-construction and is expected to be completed in 2020.



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Press Release
News Media Contact:  (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release: June 14, 2016


Energy Department Invests $82 Million in Advanced Nuclear Technologies

WASHINGTON –Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $82 million in nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure awards in 28 states. In total, 93 projects were selected to receive funding that will help push innovative nuclear technologies toward commercialization and into the market. These awards provide funding for nuclear energy-related research through the Nuclear Energy University Program, Nuclear Science User Facilities, and Nuclear Energy Enabling Technology programs. In addition to financial support, a number of recipients will receive technical and regulatory assistance through the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative.

"Nuclear power is our nation’s largest source of low-carbon electricity and is a vital component in our efforts to both provide affordable and reliable electricity and to combat climate change,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “These awards will help scientists and engineers as they continue to innovate with advanced nuclear technologies."

Nuclear Energy University Program

DOE is awarding nearly $36 million through its Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) to support 49 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 24 states. NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering students and faculty members opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities.

Additionally, 15 universities will receive nearly $6 million for research reactor and infrastructure improvements – providing important safety- performance- and student education-related upgrades to a portion of the nation’s 25 university research reactors as well as enhancing university research and training infrastructure.

Public Private Partnerships

The awards announced today are part of a significant first set of actions to implement the GAIN initiative that was announced November 2015, which provides the nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear reactor designs toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet.

GAIN will provide the nuclear community with a single point of access to the broad range of capabilities – people, facilities, materials, and data – across the DOE complex and its National Laboratory capabilities. Today, the Department is making approximately $2 million available through the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) to provide access to world-class neutron and gamma irradiation and post-irradiation examination services to General Electric Hitachi. The project will cover the cost of placing selected material samples from additive manufacturing processes into a NSUF-affiliated nuclear reactor to analyze the effects of nuclear reactor irradiation on material property changes.

Additionally, under the innovative GAIN public private partnership model, DOE is supporting a nearly $3 million collaborative effort with Westinghouse as the lead of one project and as a collaborator in two other projects, led by Argonne National Laboratory and Virginia Polytechnic Institute to develop advanced communication methods for nuclear facilities.

These awards complement the Office of Nuclear Energy’s Small Business Voucher Program that will provide up to $2 million in 2016 to help small businesses overcome critical nuclear technology and commercialization challenges.

Integrated Research Projects

The Department is also awarding $21 million for six Integrated Research Projects (IRPs), which include a jointly-funded project between the Office of Nuclear Energy and the Office of Environmental Management for enhanced glass forms for nuclear waste immobilization. The Office of Environmental Management will also fund two IRP projects for advanced nuclearized robotics capabilities. Collaboration between the Offices of Environmental Management and Nuclear Energy is part of Secretary Moniz’s effort to integrate the Department’s research for advanced nuclear R&D and remediation efforts.

Crosscutting Research Projects

Additionally, nearly $7 million will be awarded for seven research and development projects led by Department of Energy national laboratories, industry and U.S. universities to conduct research to address crosscutting nuclear energy challenges that will help to develop advanced sensors and instrumentation, advanced manufacturing methods, and materials for multiple nuclear reactor plant and fuel applications. Advanced innovative robust communication methods will be developed to demonstrate the ability to transmit greater amounts of data and other signals through physical boundaries in nuclear facilities. Multiple additive manufacturing techniques and a solid-phase cladding process will undergo microstructural and mechanical testing and irradiation evaluation. A rapid qualification process for laser-based powder bed additive manufacturing will also be examined. Advanced materials characterization techniques and tools will also be developed to provided advanced methods for sample preparation and new tools and techniques for examining and understanding material microstructures in a variety of conditions ranging from as-received to treated and irradiated.

Nuclear Science User Facilities

Today, the DOE has selected eight universities, two national laboratories, and one industry-led project that will take advantage of NSUF capabilities to investigate important nuclear fuel and material applications. DOE will fund over $9 million in facility access costs and expertise for experimental neutron and ion irradiation testing, post-irradiation examination facilities, synchrotron beamline capabilities, and technical assistance for design and analysis of experiments through the NSUF. Additionally, the Department of Energy is awarding over $1 million for three projects at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory for further materials and instrumentation research. Visit here for details.

Since 2009, the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded approximately $464 million to 113 U.S. colleges and universities to continue American leadership in clean energy innovation and to train the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists through its university programs. Visit neup.gov for more information on today’s awards and Energy.gov for information on all of the Energy Department’s efforts to continue American leadership in low-carbon nuclear energy innovation.



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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
IDAHO OPERATIONS OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2016

Media Contact:

Danielle Miller, millerdc@id.doe.gov

DOE Informs State of Idaho It Is Unlikely to Meet Deadline for Startup of Waste Treatment Facility

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has notified the State of Idaho that it is unlikely to meet the regulatory deadline for initiation of waste treatment of the sodium-bearing waste at the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) at the Idaho National Laboratory Site. Under the Fifth Modification to the Notice of Noncompliance-Consent Order with the State of Idaho, DOE agreed to a compliance schedule that included beginning treatment of the remaining 900,000 gallons of liquid sodium bearing radioactive waste at the INL in the IWTU by Sept. 30, 2016.

“The Department understands the importance of meeting this milestone,” said Jack Zimmerman, DOE Deputy Manager for the Idaho Cleanup Project. “However, safety is our top priority and we will not begin radioactive waste treatment until we are convinced we can do it safely.”

As part of the startup process, DOE has conducted a set of waste simulant runs at the IWTU. In order to safely commence treatment of the sodium bearing waste at the facility, DOE must address two technical issues that have arisen during these waste simulant runs. One is the need to eliminate or significantly reduce the buildup of material, known as wall scale, in the IWTU’s main processing vessel. The second is the need to evaluate modification or replacement of a component of the main processing vessel, known as the ring header, which is critical in the treatment of waste.

DOE’s new Idaho Cleanup Project contractor, Fluor Idaho, LLC, is expected to submit a schedule outlining how it will safely initiate radioactive operations at the IWTU, including addressing the wall scale buildup and ring header. After reviewing and approving Fluor’s proposed approach for operating IWTU, DOE will submit a new treatment schedule to the State of Idaho for review and approval. The Department is working with the state on a new schedule for completion.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in better understanding the facility, changing processes and equipment, and giving our operators real world experience in running the plant through multiple simulant runs,” said Zimmerman. “The plant is operating in a more robust manner and we believe we have narrowed the main issues down to two, the wall scale buildup and ring header.”



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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
IDAHO OPERATIONS OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 12, 2016

Media Contact:


Tim Jackson 208-526-8484

DOE Workshop: Pathway to SMR Commercialization

In November 2015, the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative to accelerate innovation of advanced nuclear technologies by providing potential industry partners with opportunities to access the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move innovative nuclear energy technologies toward commercialization. GAIN is expected to provide a vehicle for support of public-private partnerships to achieve national goals established by the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). NE has been supporting the development of domestic small modular reactor (SMR) designs through the SMR Licensing Technical Support (LTS) program, which provides financial assistance for SMR design development and efforts leading to design certification, site permit, and license approvals from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. DOE continues to believe that SMRs could play an important role in addressing the energy, economic, and environmental goals of the U.S.

The ultimate path to successful commercialization of SMR technologies will depend on many factors, including economic competitiveness, regulatory measures to reduce carbon emissions, market growth, as well as others. Two related areas in which the Department has an interest are: (1) manufacturing technologies to reduce cost and schedule for SMR parts and components and meet the demands of the industry as it grows; and (2) additional SMR capabilities beyond baseload electricity generation, including use of SMRs in hybrid energy systems and in meeting national security needs.

DOE recognizes the need for a collaborative path forward with industry to determine the optimum set of activities that could achieve the goal of ensuring successful SMR deployments. Therefore, DOE requests domestic industry participation in a 2-day comprehensive workshop to elicit opinions on the two key topics identified above. The workshop will include participation from domestic vendors, utilities, nuclear supply chain entities, laboratories, universities, or other related professional organizations to provide input and ideas in support of the DOE SMR commercialization goals. The first day will address the question of what manufacturing techniques, capabilities, or process improvements could provide the most significant benefit(s) for improving SMR economics, and how to accomplish the transition from prototype fabrication capability to a robust SMR manufacturing enterprise. The second day of the workshop will address the question of what SMR capabilities should be developed further to improve the global marketability of SMRs. Participants should consider SMR-focused concepts that support the development of any non-electric applications, the use of SMR-generated process heat in various industrial and community environments, capabilities to deliver secure power to critical missions, improvements in load-following capabilities to support grid stability, and the use of SMRs as a component of hybrid energy systems, as examples.

Workshop results will help inform DOE’s future program plans to support the development of a domestic SMR industry with the ultimate goal of positioning U.S. SMRs to succeed. The maturation of SMR technologies is integral to promoting the Administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy, contributing towards meeting national climate and clean energy goals, and facilitating U.S. industrial competitiveness.

To register and for a complete agenda, please go to:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/doe-workshop-pathway-to-smr-commercialization-registration-25196577642



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
IDAHO OPERATIONS OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 4, 2016

Media Contact:


Tim Jackson 208-526-8484

Restoring Sagebrush on the INL Site

Last autumn the U.S. Department of Energy planted sagebrush seedlings on areas burned in wildfires on parts of the 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory site to help improve habitat for sage-grouse and other native sagebrush-dependent animals and plants.

In October 2015, 5000 seedlings were planted by hand on about 70 acres of an area burned by fire in 2000. During the next several weeks, these seedlings will start greening up along with the rest of the native sagebrush on the desert at and around INL.

DOE plans to conduct more sagebrush restoration in the future and to monitor the success of the restoration work.

The department is doing this as a conservation measure to support sage-grouse recovery. DOE has been collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for more than ten years on work to conserve habitat for sage-grouse on the INL site and to ensure that DOE maintains maximum flexibility to continue the department’s national energy, security and environmental missions.

One of the 13 conservation measures coming out of this collaboration is the need to maintain an adequate amount of high-quality sagebrush-dominated habitat that sage-grouse and other native wildlife require, by reestablishing sagebrush on areas burned by wildland fires over the past 20 years.

Fire is the greatest threat to sagebrush habitat. This impacts not only sage-grouse on the INL site but also many other species of wildlife that require sagebrush for habitat. Although native grasses and wildflowers recover in just a few years after fire, it can take up to a century for sagebrush to return.

One way to speed that recovery is to plant sagebrush seedlings. The process began in the fall of 2014 with field crews collecting seed heads from mature native sagebrush plants on the INL site.

The seed heads were sent to a greenhouse nursery, operated by the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes, where the seed was removed from the heads, cleaned and prepared for planting. Seeds were planted into tubular containers and grown in the greenhouse for eight to nine months.

A video documenting the planting of sagebrush seedlings on the INL site in 2015 can be viewed on the INL YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlqcL_4aIno.




Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center
250 E. 5th Street, Suite 500, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

March 8, 2016
Media Contact:

Lynette Chafin, 513-246-0461
Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov

DOE Awards Contract for the
Construction of Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) IX

Cincinnati – The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management today awarded a contract to North Wind Services, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, an American Native/Alaskan Native Owned Corporation as a non-competitive United States Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program set-aside. The contract supports the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site’s Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) and is for construction of the ARP IX facility and ancillary structures over Pit 10 East in the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA) of the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) located at the INL Site, Idaho Falls, Idaho. The firm-fixed-price construction letter contract is estimated at $1.7 million. The contract period will be one year from contract award.

The construction of the ARP IX facility is part of an overall environmental remediation of the radioactive and hazardous waste buried at the SDA and is in response to the selected remedy in the Operable Unit 7-13/14 Record of Decision. The ARP IX exhumation footprint is 0.69 acres. The building constructed under this contract will function as a weather protection enclosure for a target waste retrieval process in the SDA at RWMC. It also provides for canopies and passageways to two adjacent retrieval facilities of similar construction. This is the ninth and final retrieval enclosure to be constructed at the SDA in support of the ARP targeted waste exhumations.

The mission of the DOE Environmental Management program is the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons development and Government-sponsored nuclear energy research.


-DOE-



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DOE-NE Voucher Program for eligible small businesses is open for applications

March 1, 2016



As part of the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative, the NE Voucher program will provide up to $2 million in this pilot year for access to expertise, knowledge, and facilities of the National Laboratories and our partner facilities to help advance nuclear energy technologies. Additional NE Voucher program information is available on the "Apply for a Voucher" page on the GAIN website, including an expanded scope description, frequently asked questions, copies of the standard research agreements that will be needed for the selected application, as well as the final Request for Assistance (RFA).

The application period starts on March 1 and will extend through March 30, 2016. Voucher selection notifications will be made in mid-May.

If you have questions or comments, we invite you to send them to gain@inl.gov. Industry input is appreciated as the GAIN initiative continues to develop its programs to help accelerate innovative nuclear energy technologies in the U.S.



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Department of Energy Continues Commitment to the Development of Innovative Small Modular Reactors

February 18, 2016
Contact:

Danielle Miller, 208-526-5709


WASHINGTON – Building on President Obama’s plan to advance America’s leadership in clean energy innovation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that an agreement has been reached to support possible siting of an innovative small modular reactor (SMR) project within DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site.

This Site Use Permit has been granted to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) to support possible siting of an innovative small modular reactor (SMR) project within the boundary of DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory INL) site.

"Small modular reactors are an important new step toward safe, reliable, carbon-free technology. Today’s announcement is a part of the Department of Energy’s ongoing commitment to strengthening nuclear energy’s role in America’s low carbon future,” said Lynn Orr, Under Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE.

The INL Site Use Permit signed by DOE and UAMPS allows the latter to access the INL site to analyze environmental, safety, and siting conditions. UAMPS is currently working to identify potential locations that may be suitable for building the UAMPS Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) for further characterization and analysis. As potential locations are identified on the INL site, those locations will be provided to the Energy Department to ensure that the use of such site would not conflict with INL mission work.

Site characterization activities will be conducted in accordance with all established INL site stewardship protocols to include environmental protection, and historic and cultural resource preservation.

The CFPP is a commercial venture on a federal compound, and the successful deployment of a small modular reactor design would provide U.S. utilities with a greater range of nuclear energy options to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. Small modular reactors feature compact, scalable designs that are expected to offer a host of safety, construction and economic benefits, and could potentially supply low-carbon baseload energy to small electric grids and locations that cannot support larger reactors.

If UAMPS identifies a suitable area within the INL site boundary for development of the CFPP, and if the Energy Department determines that the use of such site would not conflict with INL mission work, the design, construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of an SMR at the selected site would be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), following extensive safety and environmental reviews.

The Site Use Permit signed by DOE and UAMPS can be found at DOE_UAMPS Use Permit DE-N700065.

The SMR design for the CFPP is being provided by NuScale Power TM of Portland, Oregon. For more information on this design, go to www.nuscalepower.com.

Find more information on the important steps the Energy Department is taking to jumpstart America’s nuclear industry and support clean energy innovation at www.energy.gov/ne.

Learn more about UAMPS and the CFPP at www.uamps.com.



DOE ID Header
Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center
250 E. 5th Street, Suite 500, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Media Contact:
February 4, 2016

Lynette Chafin, 513-246-0461
Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov
Danielle Miller, 208-526-5709
millerdc@id.doe.gov

DOE Awards Contract for the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) Core

Cincinnati – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the award of a contract to Fluor Idaho, LLC, for the performance of ongoing Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) and Idaho Clean-up Project (ICP) work scopes in support of the DOE Office of Environmental Management’s cleanup mission at the Idaho Site. The value of the contract is $1.4 billion (including options), and the contract term five years. Two proposals were received in response to the solicitation.

The ICP Core contract is a performance based contract type that is primarily Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee (CPIF) with some scope set up as Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF). At the conclusion of this contract it is anticipated that all Idaho Settlement Agreement (ISA) transuranic (TRU) waste will be dispositioned out of Idaho and all Agreement to Implement/CERCLA Record of Decision buried waste will be exhumed from the Subsurface Disposal Area.

In an effort to align contractor and taxpayer interests, the ICP Core contract is a performance based contract type that is primarily Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee (CPIF) with some scope set up as Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF). The contract includes Cost Incentive, Schedule Milestone, Annual Milestone, and Performance Incentive fees, and will allow DOE to incentivize the contractor for meeting the contract requirements.

The base scope to be performed under this contract includes: stabilizing and storage of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste; dispositioning transuranic waste; retrieving targeted buried waste; closing the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) tank farm; maintaining Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) remedial actions; and operating and maintaining the INTEC, Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC), and the Radioactive Scrap and Waste Facility (RSWF) facility infrastructure. Option scope to be performed under this contract includes: Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) operations. The IWTU option scope will be exercised at contract award.

The mission of the Office of Environmental Management is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.


-DOE-




Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center
250 E. 5th Street, Suite 500, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Media Contact:
October 21, 2015

Lynette Chafin, 513-246-0461
Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov

DOE Awards Contract for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Licensed Facilities

Cincinnati – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the award of a contract to Spectra Tech, Inc. for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Licensed Facilities procurement.   The NRC Licensed Facilities contract is for managing Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) storage facilities and licenses under NRC regulations.  The scope includes the management and operation of the Fort Saint Vrain (FSV) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) facility in Colorado (including security); the management, operation and oversight of the Three Mile Island-2 (TMI-2) ISFSI facility at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) in Idaho; and management of the Idaho Spent Fuel Facility (ISFF) license.  This is a hybrid type contract with Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP), Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) and Cost-Reimbursable (CR) Contract Line Item Numbers (CLINs).  The approximate value of this contract is $31.6M with a base period of four years and one one-year option. Six proposals were received in response to this solicitation.

The work to be performed under the contract is to provide management, operation and oversight of the NRC licensed facilities, in accordance with the NRC licenses for the following:

  • Management and operation of the Fort Saint Vrain (FSV) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) facility (license number Special Nuclear Material (SNM)-2504) in Colorado,
  • Management, operation, and oversight of the Three Mile Island-2 (TMI-2) ISFSI facility (license number SNM-2508) at Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) in Idaho, and
  • Management of the Idaho Spent Fuel Facility (ISFF) license (license number SNM-2512).

The services to be provided under this acquisition shall include, but are not limited to, services for operations, physical security, general infrastructure (including utilities and communication services), maintenance and execution of the key programs (worker safety and health, occupational medical program, Integrated Safety Management System, emergency management, quality assurance, radiation protection, waste management, safeguards and security, information management, records management, property management, training, radiological environmental monitoring, aging management, natural gas and oil monitoring and radioactive effluent control), preparation of technical evidence to support license renewal for TMI-2, support of NRC or DOE inspections, and support for information requests.

The mission of the DOE Environmental Management program is the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons development and Government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

Editorial Date Oct 21, 2015
By Danielle Miller



 

DOE-ID Press Releases and Video Clips

U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office
1955 Fremont Ave.
Idaho Falls, ID 83415

Idaho Operations
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DOE extends advanced mixed waste treatment project contract
DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (EM) today announced it is extending its contract for the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project at the Idaho Site for a period of 6 months...
DOE extends Idaho cleanup project contract
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) today announced it is extending its contract for the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Idaho Site for a period of 6 months   ...
Lab leads national conversation on emerging threats to critical national services
DOE Seal Recognizing the need for strategic planning to address current resilience challenges in industry and government, the second National Symposium on Resilient Critical Infrastructure (NSRCI)  ..
Public invited to comment on Draft Supplement Analysis on Two Proposed Shipments of Commercial Nuclear Fuel
DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invites the public to read and comment on a draft supplement analysis it has prepared for a proposal to make two shipments of commercial l ...
DOE ISSUES FINAL RFP FOR IDAHO CLEANUP PROJECT CORE
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued the final Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) Core procurement. At the end of this contract the majority of cleanupl ...
doe ISSUES A dRAFT rEQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION LICENSES FACILITIES PROCUREMENT
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Licensed Facilities procurement ...
DOE issues Finding of No Significant Impact for the Environmental Assessment on Resumption of Transient Testing of Nuclear Fuels and Materials at Idaho National Laboratory
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has determined that resuming transient testing of nuclear fuels and materials at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will ...
Idaho Cold War Waste Removal Advancing as Work on Eighth Area Begins
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DOE Seal IDAHO FALLS, ID - The U.S. Department of Energy and Idaho site cleanup contractor CH2M-WG Idaho (CWI) have begun removing Cold War weapons waste at the eighth area of the 97-acre Subsurface Disposal Area...
Public invited to comment on Draft Environmental Assessment for the Resumption of Transient Testing of Nuclear Fuels and Materials
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy invites the public to read and comment on a draft environmental assessment it has prepared for a proposal to resume transient testing of nuclear fuels...
Department of Energy Designates the Wireless Test Bed as a National User Facility
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DOE Seal IDAHO FALLS - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently designated Idaho National Laboratory's (INL) Wireless Test Bed as a National User Facility. Establishing the Wireless Test Bed as a National... This link opens an Adobe Acrobat File 35kb
New Book Updates INL’s History, Documents a Decade of Transformation
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DOE Seal The U.S. Department of Energy is releasing an update to the history of the Idaho National Laboratory, documenting a decade of transformation at the laboratory, and a “decade of doing” for the Idaho Cleanup Project. “Transformed: A Recent History of the Idaho ...
The Department of Energy Announces Major Cold War Legacy Waste Cleanup Milestone
DOE Seal CARLSBAD, NM – The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) received its 10,000th shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste over the weekend. This marks an important milestone in DOE's mission to clean up the country's Cold War legacy.
Department of Energy Announces $39 Million to Strengthen University-Led Nuclear Energy Research and Development
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DOE Seal Washington, D.C. – The Department of Energy today announced that it has awarded up to $39 million in research grants aimed at developing cutting-edge nuclear energy technologies and training and educating the next generation of leaders ...
PIT 9: From "Black Eye" to Part of DOE Cleanup Success
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DOE Seal There was a time back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the words “Pit 9” were synonymous with failure. Failure on the part of a large company to execute its contract...
Energy Department and National Park Service Announce Clean Cities Partnership to Drive Sustainable National Parks. Efforts to Help Reduce Reliance on Imported Oil, Protect America’s Natural Resources.
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DOE Seal WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitments to reducing America’s reliance on imported oil and protecting our nation’s air and water...
Idaho site completes demolition of Cold
War-era nuclear fuel reprocessing facility
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DOE Seal A gravel mound, larger than half a city block and several feet thick, is the only visible feature that remains at the site of a Cold War-era spent nuclear fuel reprocessing facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho site. About $44 million ...
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