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Presentation on theme: " 1 Best Practices for Risk-Informed Remedy Selection, Closure, and Post-closure Control for DOE’s Contaminated Sites October 30, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Best Practices for Risk-Informed Remedy Selection, Closure, and Post-closure Control for DOE’s Contaminated Sites October 30, 2013 Alice Williams Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary For Environmental Management

2 2 2 Time is not on our side – costs and risks increase over time. We have a responsibility to relieve future generations of this environmental and financial liability. We have delivered significant cleanup results in the past several years, while completing projects on time and within cost Environmental Management: A National Responsibility

3 3 Environmental Management Priorities Activities to maintain a safe and secure posture in the EM complex Radioactive tank waste stabilization, treatment, and disposal Spent nuclear fuel storage, receipt, and disposition Special nuclear material consolidation, processing, and disposition High risk soil and groundwater remediation Transuranic and mixed/low-level waste disposition Soil and groundwater remediation Excess facilities deactivation and decommissioning

4 4 Completed cleanup on 90 of 107 former nuclear weapons and research sites EM Has Significantly Reduced Risks to the Environment and Public

5 5 The Life-Cycle Cost of the EM Program: Approximately $200 Billion in Costs to Go The EM legacy cleanup program is forecasted to continue past 2060 with “to go” costs of up to $209 billion. Tank waste activities are the most costly of EM’s cleanup activities. Facility D&D, soil and groundwater activities represent the second most costly cleanup activity.

6 6 Compliance, Risk, and Priority Setting Environmental Compliance: One of EM’s top program drivers Different environmental statutes drive different removal end points Location of points of compliance (risk envelope) Risk prioritization: Existing processes provide the framework Sequence and schedule – Federal Facility Agreements and Consent Orders Remedy Selection – CERCLA Nine Criteria and Waste Determinations/Disposal Authorization Statements Decisions regarding cleanup priorities need to be risk-informed to provide a balanced approach Protection of human health and the environment Consideration of future use and sustainability – environmental, social, and economic

7 7 Risk-informed Decision Making Savannah River Tank 5 Heel Removal (Tank Interior) Manage environmental contamination and waste in a manner that balances protection of human health and the environment and cost effectiveness for current and future generations Will be necessary to leave residual waste in place Allows for natural attenuation Integrates stewardship into holistic, life-cycle management options Requires further development of predictive modeling and visualization, and monitoring and sensor technologies Recognizes U.S. Government’s long term commitment to monitoring and other institutional controls Natural attenuation of uranium contamination at the 300 area, Hanford site

8 8 Discovering Sustainable Solutions U.S. Executive Order 13514 requires federal agencies to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for federal agencies. EM’s approach to meeting Executive Order 13514 goals is Accelerated D&D of high energy consuming excess facilities (e.g., Portsmouth, West Valley and ETTP) Ensure EM sites have robust energy management programs Promote In Situ Decommissioning and green remediation, where appropriate Several EM sites have successfully implemented energy reduction efforts. CERCLA Nine Criteria do not directly include sustainability.

9 9 How do we take a more comprehensive and integrated approach to balancing impacts of addressing environmental contamination risk? Short-term and long term impacts? Worker and community impacts? Local and global impacts? Cost and risk mitigation? End states and future use? How do we (or should we) change the basic question of “How clean is clean?” to “How much residual waste can remain and still ensure protectiveness?”? How do we expand our thinking about risk and sustainability to best manage existing risks and execute our mission? Challenge

10 10 Considerations Going Forward Holistic approaches for remediation of sites with multiple contaminant sources and multiple post-closure uses, including technically based in-situ, point-of-compliance, and point-of-use monitoring locations. Effective post-closure controls: monitoring, institutional and engineering and natural controls. Approaches for assessing long-term remedy performance to reduce uncertainty and need for controls. Incorporate upfront consideration of sustainability options and analyses that cover the three sustainability pillars (social, environmental, and economic), as well as trade-off considerations into decision making.

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