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Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board


Approved April 5, 2000, Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2000, at the Roane State Community College Oak Ridge Campus, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A video tape record of the meeting was made and may be viewed by calling the SSAB support office at 865-241-3665.

Members Present
James Alexander
Robert Blaum
Jeff Cange
Luther Gibson, Jr.
Randy Gordon
Steve Kopp, Chair
David Mosby
Demetra Nelson, Vice Chair
Bill Pardue
Pat Rush
Lorene Sigal
Darrell Srdoc
Rikki Traylor, Secretary
Charles Washington
Anne-Marie Wiest, Student Representative

Members Absent
None

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Rod Nelson, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Martha Berry, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
John Owsley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Teresa Perry, DOE-ORO

Others Present
Sheree Black, SSAB support office
Pat Daly, Manufacturing Sciences Corp. (MSC)
Chuck Jenkins, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC
Pete Osborne, SSAB support office

Ten members of the public attended the meeting.

Presentation
Mr. Pat Daly, Vice President of Recycling Operations for MSC, a British Nuclear Fuels, Ltd. (BNFL), company, began his presentation by explaining that MSC’s role in the metals recycling business is to decontaminate metals for free release to the recycling market. MSC’s largest customer is the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) Three-Building Decontamination and Decommissioning Project. Using overheads (Attachment 1), Mr. Daly explained MSC’s decontamination processes.

After Mr. Daly concluded his presentation, the following questions were asked by SSAB members and the public.

Questioner

Question

Mr. Daly’s Response

Charles Washington, SSAB How many mils of material are removed from metals to clean them? We’ve never tried to take a micrometer reading. Cleaning metals is a trial and error process.
What do you do about the grit once it becomes contaminated? The grit is recycled, and the contamination comes off in the dust. The dust is gathered in a collector.
Do you take air samples in the building? Samples are taken at fixed locations.
Lorene Sigal, SSAB How many people do you employ? About 160.
Once into full production, will you hire more? If we get into nickel recycling, we will hire around 25–30 people.
Pat Rush, SSAB Are you still using the rolling mill located at MSC? Yes, but not as part of the ETTP project.
Randy Gordon, SSAB What are the dollar amount and schedule of the ETTP contract, and are you on schedule? Around $238M through 2004. There have been some delays due to the recent storm.
How would you characterize your relationship with DOE? They’re our customer, and we’re glad to have them as a customer.
Have you had any accidents on the site? Mr. Daly deferred to Jack Howard, DOE-ORO project manager, who replied that three injuries have been recorded at the site this year.
How do you decontaminate or check the containers that bring metals from ETTP to your site in Kerr Hollow? They’re not decontaminated internally, but they’re checked externally.
Bill Pardue, SSAB What’s the intended use of the recycled nickel, if it’s approved for release? MSC would release the nickel to a metals broker, who would likely sell it for use in stainless steel.
Would there be any restrictions on its use once it was released? No.
Bob Peelle, former SSAB member What is the radioactivity of natural, commercial nickel? I don’t know if you can measure it, but we have done some comparisons. Potassium chloride, which is sold as a dietary salt substitute, is 15 times more radioactive than the nickel we would be releasing.
Susan Gawarecki, LOCa Executive Director What is the value of the nickel you will take title to as part of the contract? That’s not part of the negotiations, and the value is tied to the London exchange market, so it would vary depending on what day we sold it.
When you signed the contract, did you agree to take a certain amount in lieu of payment, and what was the value of the nickel at that time? Yes, we did agree. The value was around $41M.
Susan Gawarecki, LOCa Executive Director Prior to receiving license from the state, was your intention to market the nickel overseas at a different decontamination level? No.
Who performs quality assurance on shipments? We do our own sampling and the state performs unannounced audits.
How would you measure contamination in an ingot with volumetric contamination? How many ingots would be tested? You drill samples and then dissolve them. Every ingot is sampled.
In regard to your comparison of radioactivity in nickel to that found in potassium chloride, do technetium and Potassium-40 have the same type of radioactivity? No, but you can compare activity levels.
Josh Johnson, LOC-CAPb What is the factor of your decontamination process, and what are the incoming levels? The incoming level of the Paducah nickel is 600–700 becquerels per gram, so the factor is roughly three.
Mike Knapp, SOCMc Will additional monies be requested for the BNFL contract, and will other projects lose funds because of that request? Mr. Daly deferred to Mr. Howard, who replied that the Secretary of Energy’s decision on recycling the nickel will likely affect the contract, but he doesn’t know by how much. Recent storm damage will also affect the contract somewhat.
What is your position on performing an environmental impact statement on this (decontamination) process? I don’t have a comment on that. My responsibilities are for the Kerr Hollow facility, and we operate under a state license.
What other contaminants or classified materials are contained in the nickel? I cannot comment on classified materials; however, we look for hard-to-find isotopes, and so far we’ve found trace amounts of transuranics but nothing of significance.
Have workers been informed about any plutonium that may be contained in the nickel powder? We’re not using any nickel powder at ETTP.
Mike Church, PACEd Are you aware that prior to award of the contract, a directive from Secretary Pena called for end use control by DOE of recycled metals? I can’t comment on that.
I understand that a change order of $130M is in place to complete this project. If this is approved, how will this affect other projects? Mr. Daly deferred to Mr. Howard, who replied that an answer to this questions is not possible until negotiations between the company and DOE are complete.
aLocal Oversight Committee
bCitizens Advisory Panel of the Local Oversight Committee
cSave Our Cumberland Mountains
d Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. Nelson made several reports:

• The DOE-Headquarters (DOE-HQ) Environment and Health Investigation Team will be returning to ETTP the week of April 24 to conduct scoping for environmental sampling, which will be performed in May.

• DOE-ORO sent the Bear Creek Valley Record of Decision "bridge document" to EPA last week, and Mr. Nelson is optimistic that work at Bear Creek can begin during the current construction season.

• Assurances have been received from Carolyn Huntoon’s staff that ORSSAB membership applications would receive the most expeditious handling possible.

• The Public Relations Society of American recently presented the Stewardship Working Group with a public service award of merit for "events and activities leading to production of a document."

Ms. Perry reported that she has received from the independent screening panel the recommendations for 7 new SSAB members and 11 alternates. DOE-ORO is preparing the DOE-HQ package now.

Mr. Gordon asked Ms. Perry to comment on status of the Board’s new technical contract. Mr. Kopp responded that he and Ms. Nelson are working on the evaluation team. Ms. Nelson added that the team will complete its evaluation of the five bidders by April 14. Mr. Pardue asked when the current contract ends. Mr. Jenkins replied that the old contract had been extended (at no cost) through the end of April. The term of the new contract is 18 months, with a 1-year renewal option.

Mr. Gibson asked Mr. Nelson to comment on the blue-ribbon panel being formed to advise DOE on a proposed incinerator at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, and he asked if other DOE offices that have thermal treatment facilities are being encouraged to become involved in the panel. Mr. Nelson didn’t know, but he recommended that if the Board was interested in participating, it should pursue the matter. Mr. Gibson offered to take the issue before the Waste Management Team.

Mr. Pardue asked Ms. Berry to supply the Board with EPA data on contamination in the flood plain near the Boeing Property (as referenced in a letter from John Hankinson to Leah Dever, dated February 28, 2000). Ms. Berry agreed to supply the information.

Public Comment
Ms. Pam Watson, a local stakeholder, asked Mr. Nelson when the results of site-wide testing for beryllium at non-production areas of ETTP will be released and how they will be made available. Mr. Nelson didn’t know, but he promised to provide Ms. Watson an answer.

Ms. Watson asked what percentage of the remaining workforce at ETTP is made up of grandfathered employees and if the Board was concerned about the loss of experienced personnel there and how that loss might impact the quality and safety of Environmental Management (EM) work. Mr. Washington responded to the question, saying that he had spoken with the DOE-HQ Environment and Health Investigation Team about these issues and that the Board is looking forward to answers in the team’s report. Mr. Kopp offered to obtain a reply to Ms. Watson’s question about the number of grandfathered ETTP employees.

Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, May 3, 6:00 p.m., at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Oak Ridge. Because a quorum had not been achieved at the March 23 Executive Committee meeting and, therefore, no program had been chosen for the May 3 meeting, the Board was asked to vote on two possible presentations: "Overview of EM Activities at ETTP" and "Review of Environmental, Safety, and Health Practices at ETTP." Ms. Sigal advised that the first topic be delayed until after new members are seated, and Mr. Pardue recommended that the second topic be delayed until after the DOE-HQ Environment and Health Investigation Team has completed its review. Mr. Pardue suggested instead a presentation on the final report of the Oak Ridge Health Agreement Steering Panel (ORHASP). Mr. Gordon urged the Board to use the meeting to discuss team scopes and assess Board progress for the year. Ms. Rush recommended that this topic be discussed at the August retreat. A vote was taken to determine the presentation topic, and the ORHASP report was approved.

No additions or corrections were made to March 8, 2000, Board meeting minutes.

Ms. Traylor read the proposed change to Board Bylaws Article VI, "Executive Committee Composition," which was presented for a first reading at the March 8, 2000, Board meeting. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote.

Ms. Traylor presented the motion to change the Stewardship Project Team’s status from "special" to "major." The request was approved by a unanimous vote.

Ms. Traylor presented the motion to approve Mr. Washington’s request for travel to the DOE EM Science Program National Workshop. The request was approved by a unanimous vote.

Recommendations and comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Treating Transuranic/Alpha Low-Level Waste at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, DOE-EIS-0305-D, were presented to the Board for approval by the Waste Management Team, the Stewardship Team, and Mr. Pardue. Following discussion, Ms. Traylor presented a motion that staff combine all the recommendations and comments into one document and then forward it to an ad hoc team of Mr. Gibson, Mr. Pardue, and Ms. Sigal for review before transmittal to DOE. The motion was approved, 11 for, 2 against. Mr. Alexander and Mr. Gordon cast the dissenting votes.

Ms. Traylor presented the motion to approve comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Sale of Zinc Bromide Solutions for Commercial Recycling and Reuse, DOE/EA-1324. Mr. Alexander moved to postpone approval and send the comments back to the Waste Management Team for additional discussion. Mr. Washington seconded Mr. Alexander’s motion, and the motion was approved, 12 for, 1 against. Mr. Mosby cast the dissenting vote.

Mr. Gordon, who had sought to add two items to the agenda, deferred his items to the April 20 Executive Committee meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Motions and Recommendations
M4/5/00.1
Ms. Traylor moved to approve the minutes of the March 8, 2000, Board meeting. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M4/5/00.2
Ms. Traylor moved to approve the ORHASP final report as the program for the May 3, 2000, Board meeting. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M4/5/00.3
Ms. Traylor moved to approve amendment of Board Bylaws Article VI, "Executive Committee Composition." Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M4/5/00.4
Ms. Traylor moved to change the designation of the Stewardship Team from "special project team" to "major project team." Ms. Sigal seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M4/5/00.5
Mr. Pardue moved to approve Mr. Washington’s travel request. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

M4/5/00.6
Ms. Traylor moved to approve Board comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Treating Transuranic/Alpha Low-Level Waste at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, DOE-EIS-0305-D. Ms. Rush seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 11 for, 2 against.

M4/5/00.7
Mr. Alexander moved to postpone approval of comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Sale of Zinc Bromide Solutions for Commercial Recycling and Reuse, DOE/EA-1324, and send the comments back to the Waste Management Team for further discussion. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was approved, 12 for, 1 against.

Respectfully submitted,
Rikki Traylor, Secretary

RRT/plo

Attachments (2)

Action Items
1. Ms. Berry will supply the Board with EPA data on contamination in the flood plain near the Boeing Property.

2. Mr. Nelson will supply Ms. Pam Watson with information on when the results of site-wide testing for beryllium at non-production areas of ETTP will be released and how the results will be made available. Completed via e-mail 4/19/00

3. The Board will follow up on Ms. Watson’s question about grandfathered employees at ETTP. Mailed response to Ms. Watson 4/18/00

1 Motion

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