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Published on March 5, 2008

Author: Dora


Environmental Remediation Sciences BERAC Meeting April 30, 2003 :  Environmental Remediation Sciences BERAC Meeting April 30, 2003 Teresa Fryberger Office of Biological and Environmental Research Slide2:  Associate Director Ari Patrinos Life Sciences Division Marv Frazier, Director Medical Sciences Division Michael Viola, Director Climate Change Research Division Jerry Elwood, Director Environmental Remediation Sciences Division Teresa Fryberger, Director Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Outline:  Outline Background—DOE cleanup problems Environmental Sciences Division Strategic Planning so far Environmental Management:  Environmental Management The DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) was created in 1989 to Address the environmental legacy from over 50 years of nuclear weapons research, production, and testing - some of the most technically challenging and complex work of any environmental program in the world Environmental Legacy: Nuclear Weapons Production:  Environmental Legacy: Nuclear Weapons Production SOURCE: Accumulation from 50 years of nuclear weapons production by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors DOE Environmental Legacy:  DOE Environmental Legacy DOE Environmental Legacy:  DOE Environmental Legacy DOE Problem Wastes - Examples - 403,000 cubic meters of high level waste (HLW) - 250,000 cubic meters of solid transuranic wastes (TRU) - 4.4 million cubic meters of low level waste (LLW) Non-radioactive hazardous wastes and mixed wastes 5,000 – 7000 contaminated facilities DOE Environmental Legacy:  DOE Environmental Legacy DOE Environmental Problems 5,700+ individual plumes contaminating soil and groundwater 7.8 Km2 plume at SRS 18.1 Km2 plume of CCl4 at Hanford 710,000 m3 of soil at NTS 1.5 million m3 of soil at Fernald The Legacy Continues:  The Legacy Continues More contamination and waste will be identified as characterization continues Decontamination wastes??? Secondary waste streams from clean-up operations Long-term stewardship of sites where residual contamination remains Why Do We Need Basic Research for the Cleanup?:  Why Do We Need Basic Research for the Cleanup? We have never done this before To provide a technical basis for making decisions To provide new approaches to cut costs, or sometimes just to provide approaches To resolve technical problems as the cleanup progresses Hanford in the mid 1940s:  Hanford in the mid 1940s Hanford High Level Tank Wastes:  Single Shell Tanks 149 tanks 35M gallons of wastes 190K tons of chemicals 132M curies of radioactivity 75% Sr-90, 24% Cs-137 65 “leakers” Double Shell Tanks 28 tanks 20M gallons of wastes 55K tons wastes 82M curies of radioactivity 72% Cs-137, 27% Sr-90 Hanford High Level Tank Wastes EXAMPLE High-Level Tank Wastes: how was it created? :  High-Level Tank Wastes: how was it created? DOE Spent Fuel Reprocess Acid Waste Underground Storage Tanks 403,000 m3 Sludge (Oxides, Hydroxides, Carbonates Sr, Cs,TRU) Saltcake and Supernate (Nitrates, Nitrites, Cs, Sr, Tc) “Neutralization” Treatment of HLW Tanks:  Volume!!! Cost!!! Quality!!! ? 0.03% Radionuclides Treatment of HLW Tanks TRUs Cs,Sr,Tc LLW HLW Glass Separate Cs,Sr, (Tc)? Alkaline High Level Waste Liquid Sludge TRUs, Sr, Cs, Tc, Metals $1-2M/glass log Hanford High Level Waste:  Hanford High Level Waste Science issues: Chemistry of high pH solutions to predict waste behavior Tailored separations processes to Cut costs Reduce volume Improve waste form performance Designer materials for wasteforms Improve performance Reduce volume/costs Remote characterization and online monitoring tools Slide16:  Hanford High Level Wastes 65 Known Leakers Subsurface Contaminants: Cesium Strontium Uranium Technetium Cyanides Chromium Cobalt Nitrates What happens during retrieval?? What does it mean to say “we’re done”?? Understanding Contaminant Transport :  Understanding Contaminant Transport Science issues: Modeling/Prediction Complexity Scaling Characterization/monitoring In situ remediation/immobilization Surficial Transport Trophic Transfer Galvin Commission, 1995:  Galvin Commission, 1995 “There is a particular need for long term, basic research in disciplines related to environmental cleanup … Adopting a science-based approach that includes supporting development of technologies and expertise … could lead to both reduced cleanup costs and smaller environmental impacts at existing sites and to the development of a scientific foundation for advances in environmental technologies.” From the 1995 Galvin Commission Report On the Department of Energy Laboratories Slide19:  Environmental Remediation Sciences Division Environmental Remediation Sciences Division:  Environmental Remediation Sciences Division STAFF Judy Nusbaum Anna Palmisano Paul Bayer Roland Hirsch, Medical Applications Div. Brendlyn Faison, Hampton University Henry Shaw, LLNL 3-4 new slots (hopefully) Slide21:  The Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) is developing the scientific basis for risk-based decision making and “breakthrough” approaches to cleaning up the nuclear weapons complex. Bioremediation Research (NABIR) provides the understanding of how microbes that naturally exist in soils can stabilize metals and radionuclides. Studies span the range of microbial genetics of all the way to field studies at actual contaminated sites. The Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) is serving environmental users from around the world by providing the leading edge of computational and experimental capabilities for understanding processes at the molecular level. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is studying the ecological impacts of remediation activities in real time at the Savannah River Site while providing hands-on educational programs at the Site. complexation ions with tetramethoxycalix[4]arene of cesium Environmental Remediation Sciences R&D for solutions to DOE’s long-term environmental cleanup challenges Slide22:  Environmental Remediation Sciences: FY03 Budget (thousands of $) NABIR $24,720 EMSP $29,900 EMSL $38,000 (operations) SREL $ 6,800 Misc. $10,100 Total $109,500 Largest program of its kind anywhere! Minus ~12M for unfunded Congressional earmarks in FY03! Strategic Planning for Environmental Remediation Sciences:  NRC Recommendation: “…that DOE develop a strategic vision for its Environmental Quality (EQ) R&D portfolio. This vision should provide the framework for developing the science and technology necessary to address EQ problems that extend beyond the present emphasis of short-term “compliance” and should incorporate the principal of continual improvement.” A Strategic Vision for DOE Environmental Quality R&D(National Academy Press, 2001) Strategic Planning for Environmental Remediation Sciences Strategic Planning:  Strategic Planning 2 Strategic Planning workshops (July and September, 2002) Involved scientists from all relevant disciplines, other DOE offices, other agencies Used NRC Reports on EM Science needs as a basis Formation of BERAC Subcommittee 1st meeting in April 2003 Reviewed Strategic Plan Draft Draft II is on its way! Slide25:  Environmental Remediation Sciences: Mission Enable scientific advances that help solve currently intractable environmental problems or otherwise provide break-through opportunities for DOE environmental missions, while also contributing to the general advance of the scientific fields involved. Environmental Remediation Sciences: Goals:  Environmental Remediation Sciences: Goals ERSD Characteristics:  ERSD Characteristics Primary focus is on a subset of DOE-EM relevant issues That are currently “intractable” Where science can have the greatest impact Highly interdisciplinary – integrates results from biology, geology, chemistry, ecology, etc. Committed to developing and supporting a suite of field research sites Develop a “toolbox” of characterization and monitoring tools. Slide28:  Improve our understanding of contaminant fate and transport by investigating and linking relevant processes Focus on interdisciplinary hypothesis-driven field studies to address complexity, scaling, and validation of models and lab results Understand nature’s tools for cleaning up the environment — harness the cleanup potential of microorganisms and geochemistry Environmental Remediation Sciences Program Emphasis Environmental Remediation Sciences Program Emphasis (continued):  Environmental Remediation Sciences Program Emphasis (continued) Help develop the next generation of computational and experimental capabilities for understanding contaminant behavior Provide the basis for new characterization and monitoring capabilities Provide the basis for new separations and waste management options Collaborating/Coordinating:  Collaborating/Coordinating Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling National Science and Technology Council committees Collaborations/Joint Research Calls with EPA, NSF, NIEHS… Other BER: Genomes to Life, Ecology, Microbial Genome Other DOE: Environmental Management, Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific Computing, Yucca Mountain Project Slide31:  Director Raymond L. Orbach Principal Deputy Director James F. Decker Deputy Director for Operations Milton D. Johnson Chief of Staff Jeffrey T. Salmon Office of Basic Energy Sciences Associate Director Patricia M. Dehmer Office of Biological and Environmental Research Associate Director Aristides Patrinos Office of High Energy and Nuclear Physics Associate Director S. Peter Rosen Office of Fusion Energy Sciences Associate Director N. Anne Davies Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research Associate Director C. Edward Oliver Geosciences Heavy Element Chem. Analytical & Separations Chemistry User Facilities: synchrotron light sources, (nanoscience centers, neutron source) Climate Change Genomes to Life Microbial Research Ecology Bioremediation Low Dose Radiation EM Science Program User Facility: EMSL Computation Initiatives: Genomes to Life (Contaminant Flow and Transport) The Office of Science Program Offices and Environmental Capabilities Programmatic Challenges:  Programmatic Challenges Integrating the science across the division programs Fostering interdisciplinary research teams Nurturing truly innovative ideas Getting our science used Getting our science used:  Getting our science used Work directly with cleanup staff at sites to identify and collaborate on the field research sites. Work on specific site problems Sponsor frequent technical exchange workshops with sites Develop a strategy to “advertise” our successes. Opportunities:  Opportunities to “revolutionize” environmental studies—bringing much-needed rigor and the new tools of genomics, nanoscience, and computing to bear. to have far-reaching impacts on the way environmental issues are approached. to apply to a broader set of problems (e.g. water quality, future energy options, waste minimization, mining and industrial wastes)

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