Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

4-c logo 100 pixels.JPG (11680 bytes)


Approved March 12, 2003, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 12, 2003, at the DOE Information Center in Oak Ridge, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A video tape recording of the meeting was made and may be viewed by calling the ORSSAB support office at 865-576-1590.

Members Present

Ben Adams
Dick Berry
Jeanne Bonner
Donna Campbell, Secretary
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Luther Gibson
Pat Hill
David Johnson1
John Kennerly
Steve Kopp
Colin Loring
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair,
Norman Mulvenon Vice Chair
Luis Revilla
George Rimel
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jake Alexander
Jenna Carignan1
Kerry Trammel

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Offices (DOE-ORO)
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO
Connie Jones
, Ex Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
John Owsley
, Ex Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Dennis Hill, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Chuck Jenkins
Pete Osborne, BJC
Judy Ullmann, Temp Systems

Eighteen members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. Steve Liedle, President of BJC, gave a project status report on the cleanup activities being performed on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). A copy of Mr. Liedle’s presentation is included as Attachment 1.

Mr. Liedle addressed risk management/risk reduction, presented progress reports on the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), Melton Valley, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and waste management initiatives. He discussed the theory behind reindustrialization, and how if ETTP property transfers to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) it will free up money for additional cleanup. Mr. Liedle discussed that BJC will still rely heavily on fixed-price subcontracting, project management tools, lessons learned, and corporate citizenship.

After the presentation, the following questions were asked by members of the Board, and the following responses were given by Mr. Liedle, except as noted.




Response (abridged)

Mr. Gibson: What are the current staffing levels, and how will the accelerated schedule impact the labor force?

Currently there are less than one thousand BJC employees. Last week BJC had an all-hands meeting to discuss accelerated closure and what that means to the manpower forecasts. To date many employees have been released but are being re-absorbed by subcontractors.

BJC formed agreements with Y-12 and UT-Battelle that give priority to employees that have been displaced, if their skills match the job requirements. In addition, BJC negotiated with Y-12 and UT-Battelle to have the pension packages transfer with the displaced employee.

BJC sponsored career workshops with representatives from local colleges and universities to discuss the shift in educational and skill set requirements for employees whose employment will terminate at the end of the closure contract and who will be re-entering the labor market.

Ms. Hill: On the Melton Valley scope slide you show $85 million in savings. Does this include the preparation and packaging of spent nuclear fuel in specialized containers?

Yes. The savings are all-inclusive. All spent nuclear fuel has been repackaged and is ready for transfer off site.

Ms. Hill: ETTP buildings are earmarked for reindustrialization. Is this just a best-case scenario, or is it real? And has any thought been given to the historical value of these buildings?

Over the past year BJC has worked with CROET and DOE to try to identify a set of buildings that have some commercial marketability. Out of some 400 facilities only 26 facilities were deemed viable. This is based on the environmental studies performed on the buildings; their current infrastructure, and surveys of the ground surrounding the facilities.

I am sure that something will be done to memorialize the history of the area and the facilities.  However, BJC does not have a very active role in this process.

Mr. Berry: What technologies will be implemented at waste burial areas 4 and 6? What will be done to collect the radioactive drainage from these areas? Several geotechnical reports have been submitted about the barriers (caps) suggesting that will not work to keep water from infiltrating to the wastes.

Capping has been approved in the record of decision signed for this area by DOE, TDEC, and EPA, so we and the regulators feel confident that capping will be effective.

Mr. Adams:  Do you believe that the State is helping or hurting you?

The State has been fair, and we are making progress.

Mr. Kennerly: Has a decision been made about the disposition of the K-25 building process equipment?

The final disposition of the equipmentabout 3,000 converters at K-25 and K-27is still an on-going discussion.

Mr. Washington: What are the radiological readings on the converters, and are there any uranium hexafluoride cakes still lodged within the converters?

We have done some remote readings, and some of that information is classified. In addition we have assay work for the past 15 years. We will supply you the readings that are not classified.

Mr. Kopp: Is the waste acceptance board for the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) active and functioning?

BJC has a group that meets to look at progress over the past 30 days. Waste loading is calculated by a sum-of-fractions process, which is monitored over time.


Pat Rush (member of the public): Recent rains filled EMWMF to overflowing.  What are the plans to fix this problem in the future?

The basins beneath the cell are what actually overflowed. This happened because of some valve problems and a design flaw.  Groundwater levels are being monitored. Currently we are reviewing recommendations about how to fix this problem.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. Adler made three announcements and distributed a short fact sheet on the FY 2003 budget (Attachment 2):

            General reductions included in the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill will result in a FY 2003 budget reduction for the Environmental Management (EM) Program of approximately $22 million. Impacts will be felt in demolition work at the K-25 building and in modest schedule delays.

            A minor accident occurred earlier today when a truck carrying BNFL material to the Nevada Test Site was clipped by a second small truck on the Cumberland Plateau.  No one was injured, and no materials were lost. The BNFL truck was returned to Oak Ridge.

            The Comprehensive Waste Disposition Plan is almost complete. A draft of this document is available at the DOE Information Center. The document includes a statement of principles, which provides assurances regarding the capacity of EMWMF. Assurances are in place for annual reporting and the reservation of space for EM Program waste.

Public Comment


DOE Coordinator Comments

Ms. Halsey announced that the membership recruitment period closed on March 10. Fourteen applications have been received.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, April 9, 2003, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation topic will be the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment.

Minutes of the February 12, 2003, Board meeting were approved with two changes: (1) staff will rewrite the section on John Kubarewicz’s presentation to include more detail about BJC’s EM Integration Council, and (2) Ms. Cothron’s vote on motion 2/12/03.3 will be corrected to show that she voted in favor of the motion instead of against it.

The Board voted to endorse EM SSAB recommendations on transuranic (TRU) waste (Attachment 3) that had been generated at the January 2003 EM SSAB Workshop on TRU Waste Management. The Board granted Mr. Mosby authority to approve minor editorial changes to the recommendations, if necessary, before signing them at the upcoming EM SSAB Chairs Meeting in Denver.

Mr. Gibson reported that the Waste Management Committee will tour EMWMF as part of its regular monthly meeting on April 16. All Board members are invited to attend.

Mr. Mosby announced that he and Mr. Mulvenon will be attending the EM SSAB Chairs Meeting to be held in Denver, March 27-29.

Mr. Mosby announced that the March Executive Committee meeting has been changed from the 27th to the 25th  to accommodate his and Mr. Mulvenon’s trip to the Chairs Meeting.

Mr. Osborne reported that several letters were sent out this month requesting opportunities to give presentations about ORSSAB to local high schools. He is waiting for responses on potential presentation dates. The annual report will be delivered to the Executive Committee for review by March 18.  This evenings meeting will be broadcast on Oak Ridge Cable Channel 12 on March 31 at 8:00 p.m.

Mr. Mulvenon announced that the Board Process Ad Hoc Committee discussed the recommendation, comment, and decision-making process at its meeting held earlier this afternoon. A change to the Bylaws will be proposed at the March Executive Committee meeting. The Board Process Committee will be asking Ms. Campbell to perform a technical edit on the Bylaws.

The Board reviewed draft overheads (Attachment 4) to be presented by Mr. Mosby and Mr. Mulvenon at the EM SSAB Chairs Meeting in Denver, March 27-29.

A travel report by Heather Cothron was distributed documenting her participation in the Waste Management ‘03 conference, February 23-27 in Tucson (Attachment 5).

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.



Ms. Campbell moved to approve the amended minutes of the February 12, 2003, Board meeting. Mr. Washington seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.


Mr. Gibson moved to approve the EM SSAB Recommendations on TRU waste and to grant Mr. Mosby authority to approve minor editorial changes to the recommendations, if necessary, before signing them at the upcoming EM SSAB Chairs Meeting in Denver. Norman Mulvenon seconded the motion, and the motion was approved by a vote of 16 in favor, 2 against (Mr. Berry, Mr. McLeod).

Action Items

1.       Mr. Liedle will provide Mr. Washington with the radiological readings on the K-25 converters.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Campbell, Secretary


Attachments (5) to these minutes are available upon request from the ORSSAB support office.

SSAB Home List of Meeting Minutes