Description: For more than 50 years, the U.S. created a vast network of more than 113 facilities for research, development, and testing of nuclear materials. As a result of these activities, subsurface contamination has been identified at over 7,000 discrete sites across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex. With the end of the Cold War threat, the DOE has shifted its emphasis to remediation, decommissioning, and decontamination of the immense volumes of contaminated groundwater, sediments, and structures at its sites. DOE is currently responsible for remediating 1.7 trillion gallons of contaminated groundwater, an amount equal to approximately four times the daily U.S. water consumption, and 40 million cubic meters of contaminated soil, enough to fill approximately 17 professional sports stadiums. It is estimated that more than 60% of DOE facilities have groundwater contaminated with metals or radionuclides. The only contaminant that appears more often than metal and radionuclide contaminants in groundwater is chlorinated hydrocarbons. More than 50% of all soil and sediments at DOE facilities are contaminated with metal and radionuclides, the contaminants found with the highest frequency in soil at all DOE waste sites. Indeed, while virtually all of the contaminants found at industrial sites nationwide can also be found at DOE sites, many of the metals and especially the radionuclides found on DOE sites are unique to those sites. Current technology for treatment of groundwater contaminated with metals and/or radionuclides is ''pump and treat,'' followed by disposal or reinjection of treated water. This process can be costly and inefficient due to the difficulty of completely removing the contaminated groundwater and sorption of contaminants on mineral surfaces. DOE's Office of Environmental Management (EM), which is responsible for the cleanup, has stated that advances in science and technology are critical for DOE to reduce costs and successfully address these long-term ...
Date: October 22, 2001
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department