June 18, 2018

DOE – SPRU Environmental Remediation Project Support, Surveillance, and Maintenance

The SPRU was operated from 1950 to 1953 as a pilot plant to research chemical processes to extract uranium and plutonium from irradiated uranium. These operations contaminated the SPRU facilities and environmental media, resulting in the need to remediate the site. The land is owned by the DOE and is currently maintained by SPRU Project contractors.

DOE awarded aRc a prime contract for the SPRU land areas project for environmental remediation and restoration of land areas and contamination in near surface structures and areas. The principal contaminants are mixed fission products, plutonium, uranium, and thorium. DeNuke is a subcontractor to aRc, providing FSS, RadCon, ES&H, regulatory, and analytical support services. Working under the exacting requirements of the SPRU facility landlord, Naval Reactors, Code 08, and the DOE Project Office, DeNuke is performing radiation safety and FSS for the 12 acre Lower Level Land Area Project and has been ramping up on the ARRA funded North Field areas, adding another 75 acres of outdoor excavation operations under a change order.

Major emphasis on document delivery quality is required to meet the exacting standards and expectations from the clients. Additional oversight from the NYSERDA requires coordination and communication with these important stakeholders, particularly with respect to the hazardous constituents of the wastes and the data quality in the FSS Report.

Radiological engineering and regulatory support under RCRA and CERCLA: DeNuke’s primary support services include radiological engineering and regulatory compliance supporting cleanup of contamination of facilities and surrounding environmental media as a result of REDOX and PUREX chemical processes to extract uranium and plutonium from irradiated uranium. DeNuke’s role included performing radiological sampling and analysis for COCs and performing RadCon and safety support during chemical and radiological cleanup of the SPRU land areas, including surface soil, subsurface soil, and incidental groundwater potentially contaminated during cleanup activities.

Regulatory affairs support provided by DeNuke includes interfacing, with client direction, with DOE and NYSERDA project managers to address implementation of cleanup criteria, preparation and reviews of FSS reports and monitoring data.

Develop, implement and manage DOE-compliant Radiological Protection Program: DeNuke developed radiological program plan, procedures, and other implementing documents; provides personnel (i.e., Radcon Manager, Supervisor, Technicians) and radiological monitoring equipment to monitor adherence and ensure that proper equipment is available to monitor and control access to radiological areas within the project boundaries; operate and maintain a field laboratory (HPGe system); monitors and controls employee exposure, including associated Bioassay monitoring (i.e., TLDs, urine analysis, workplace assessment. etc.); developed operational safety protocols for XRF devices used for field and onsite laboratory analysis; screens waste (e.g., for radiological levels) during the excavation process; surveys shipping conveyances used to transport waste offsite for disposal; and surveys equipment, following the completion of remediation activities, for release from the site, including transportation to the receiving site.

Complete regulatory documentation: Develop the radiological CSAP, which includes sampling and analysis needed to ensure that SPRU radiological cleanup values have been attained; develop survey unit design packages, implementing CSAP for individual survey areas; implement the verification sampling and analysis plan during excavation activities and later for a final status survey of the site; provide personnel and instrumentation to screen soil samples to be sent offsite for analysis; developed and perform surveys sufficient to establish attainment of SPRU cleanup values; develop SPRU land area reports that document the result of the final verification surveys, include documentation supporting attainment of cleanup values, and describe the SPRU land areas end state.

Project Accomplishments:

  • Developed RPP, supporting technical basis documents, policies and procedures.
  • Developed an overall health physics technical basis document for the project which demonstrated that credible exposure scenarios would not necessitate a DOELAP accredited dosimetry program, resulting in significant savings for the project.
  • Developed FSS plan, individual survey unit packages, and FSS QA plan.
  • Developed and implemented a local hire and RCT training program, resulting in significant cost savings for the project.
  • 16,560 RWP man‐hours with no contamination incidents.
  • All survey units have been released under the FSS program. Surveyed and released 1,025 super sacks for transport to Clive, Utah.
  • Provided baseline gamma surveys over a 12‐acre site, confirming/adjusting excavation estimates and previous characterization surveys.
  • Provided one comprehensive, and four program‐specific, 10 CFR 835 internal assessments.