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For Immediate Release
Date: July 17, 2014

DOE-Idaho – Danielle Miller, (208) 526-5709
CH2M-WG Idaho- Erik Simpson, (208) 360-0426
Idaho Treatment Group- Rick Dale (208) 557-6552

Office of Environmental Management Completes Idaho Site Sludge-Drum Waste Treatment Project

The Office of Environmental Management and its cleanup contractors at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho Site, CH2M-WG Idaho LLC (CWI) and the Idaho Treatment Group LLC (ITG), recently completed the treatment and repackaging of 6,000 drums of radioactive and hazardous waste. The 6,000 drums represented approximately 1,200 cubic meters of some of the most difficult waste and is part of the 65,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste that must leave the state as part of the 1995 Idaho Settlement Agreement. The project was completed in a little over 18 months.

"By using our existing facilities, and with the combined support of federal and contractor employees, CWI and ITG are demonstrating the dedication and commitment of the Idaho site to safely and compliantly treat and ship challenging radioactive waste streams, " said DOE's Jim Cooper.

The waste, which was originally sent to Idaho in the 1970s from the now closed Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production plant located near Denver, was stored at the ITG-managed Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. The drums of sludge waste were then transported to CWI, where it was emptied and sorted within a soft-sided building constructed over the waste disposal cell known as Pit 9, but now called Accelerated Retrieval Project V.

The steel-framed, fabric building over Pit 9 was originally constructed in 2010. In January 2011, CWI began removing radioactive and hazardous waste buried there since 1969. CWI completed the cleanup of Pit 9 in August 2011, a year ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget.  The Pit 9 waste exhumation facility was then repurposed for treatment of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act wastes, which ultimately saved taxpayers millions of dollars over the cost of constructing a new building. All 6,000 drums were opened in the ARP V, using specially designed excavators where operators wore protective clothing with supplied air. The waste from the drum was successfully treated and repackaged.

After the drums of waste were repackaged, they were sent back to AMWTP where the drums will be re-characterized and then shipped out of Idaho for permanent disposal. While 6,000 drums went over to CWI, more than 12,000 drums were returned, due to the addition of absorbent for immobilizing liquids. An additional 530 boxes of secondary waste, consisting of the original, now emptied, drums were returned to ITG, also for shipping to a permanent disposal site.

CH2M-WG Idaho, LLC, (CWI) is a partnership comprised of CH2MHill and the URS Corporation that directs the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Department of Energy's Idaho Site located 45 miles west of Idaho Falls. The 3-year, $730 million project, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management, focuses on early risk reduction and protection of the Snake River Plain Aquifer. For more information visit the Idaho Cleanup Project on the Web at https://idahocleanupproject.com

Idaho Treatment Group LLC combines three of the world's most experienced nuclear waste-processing and disposal companies, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., URS and Energy Solutions Federal Services, Inc., to manage and operate the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, located 50 miles west of Idaho Falls. AMWTP's mission is to safely and compliantly process and dispose of ransuranic waste and mixed low-level waste. For more information visit  AMWTP's website at  http://amwtp.inl.gov/


Editorial Date July 21, 2014
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

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