Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved May 14, 2003, Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 14, 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
Jake Alexander
Dick Berry
Donna Campbell, Secretary
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Steve Kopp
Barbara Kosny1
Bob McLeod
John Million
David Mosby, Chair,
Norman Mulvenon, Vice Chair
George Rimel
Atur Sheth1
Kerry Trammel
Charles Washington

1Student representative

Members Absent

Jeanne Bonner
Luther Gibson
Pat Hill
John Kennerly
Colin Loring
Luis Revilla

2Second consecutive absence

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex Officio, DOE-Oak Ridge Operations (DOE-ORO)
Gerald Boyd, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, 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

Jeannie Brandstetter, Bechtel Jacobs Company LLC (BJC)
Dennis Hill, BJC
David Hutchins, DOE-ORO
Jim McBrayer, BJC
Pete Osborne, BJC

Paul Charp, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Jack Hanley, ATSDR

Twenty-two members of the public attended the meeting.


Mr. David Hutchins, Manager of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) Cylinder Program at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), gave a review of the plans for shipping cylinders in storage at ETTP to DOE’s Portsmouth, Ohio, facility. A copy of Mr. Hutchins’ presentation is included as Attachment 1.

Enrichment activities at ETTP (formerly the K-25 Site) ceased a number of years ago, so the population of cylinders on site is not increasing. Current cylinder activities include routine inspections, maintenance and repairs, if necessary, in preparation of staging for ultimate removal.

DOE entered into Consent Order 97-0378 with TDEC, which requires that (1) all full cylinders be shipped offsite by Dec. 31, 2009, and (2) a good-faith effort be made to disposition all other cylinders. Under the Oak Ridge Comprehensive Closure and Performance Management Plans, removal of cylinders is advanced to the end of fiscal year 2007 in order to accommodate the accelerated closure schedule.

A contract has been awarded to Uranium Disposition Services LLC (UDS) for construction and operation of UF6 conversion facilities at Portsmouth and Paducah, Kentucky by 2006, requiring UDS to take possession of the cylinders one year prior to start-up (2005).

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




Response (abridged)

Mr. Adams - We saw some cylinders on trucks. Is there ever any consideration given for covering or disguising them for security purposes? They might be a sociological lightning rod right now.

There has been some discussion internally and with emergency management agencies tasked with emergency response/preparedness/planning. We’ve given some consideration to using tarps, but if there is an incident they want to be able to identify what they are dealing with. They do not want us to obscure what is underneath, and it is incumbent on us to take their viewpoints into consideration.

Mr. Kopp – Has there been any thought to shipping by barge as opposed to truck for empty and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) -compliant cylinders?




Was proximity to water an issue?

There was passing consideration in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis to ship by barge and by air. Air was discounted pretty quickly. In the case of barge, useful facilities in Portsmouth for receipt are limited, so we would have to ship by barge and transfer to rail or truck from there, which looked like a logistical nightmare. 


I don’t know if that was ever a consideration. There’s just not a clear pathway all the way to Portsmouth.

Mr. Washington –How many cylinders can you move by truck at one time?

For the full cylinders we’ll ship only one cylinder per trailer.

Mr. Washington – Some of the cylinders are very rusty. Will they be shipped as-is?



When are you going to ship, in summer or winter? Shipping in 100-degree weather could be hazardous, particularly if there’s an accident and those valves hit something and snap off.

Cylinders being moved as part of this plan are the youngest on the reservation. They are not pristine, but they are not severely corroded. They are compliant with DOE and ANSI standards.


Plans are to ship year-round. Some cylinders have internal pressure, some do not, but that will be validated by cold-pressure testing prior to shipment. The valve concern is the very reason they put valve covers on prior to shipment.


Mr. Boyd noted that the cylinders are being inspected on a regular basis. Painting and maintenance activities are continuous, and problems in the cylinder yards are dealt with routinely.

Mr. McLeod – How do you make sure you’ve got responsible drivers? Is there minimum experience required?

They will be a minimum of 25 years old, they will have Hazardous Materials Transportation Endorsement and they will have had radioactive materials training. They must have a safe driving record and no criminal record. A list of drivers will be developed and will be shared with the state, public safety and state police personnel, who will conduct criminal checks. If any of these issues are in question, a driver will be eliminated from the pool.

Mr. Trammell – How many shipments will be made?





Because of the resources, you’re not sure of the timeframe for the shipments?


Can you anticipate what type of shipment would be required for non-compliant cylinders? Will they be placed in overpacks?

Can you put into perspective an incident in which a cylinder is breached and compare that to a gasoline tanker breach?



There are 1,700 full cylinders, so that’s 1,700 shipments. There are 1,025 partials, heels and non-DU cylinders, which can be shipped several to a truck, so that’s approximately 1,800-1,900 shipments. The 500 or so empties will probably go to the Nevada Test Site, but they could go to Portsmouth because there’s been some interest in using them as product cylinders for the uranium-308 conversion process.


Plans are to ship roughly 3,300 between now and mid-2005. The rest will become the responsibility of UDS and will be shipped between 2005 and 2007.

UDS is examining the issue. Exemptions from overpacks may be sought for some of the cylinders, but non-compliant cylinders will require overpacks.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has set initial isolation distances (for emergency responders) and, in the event of a fire, how to increase that distance. For UF6, the initial distance is 100 meters. In the even of a fire, it becomes 330 meters, or about 1,000 feet. For chlorine and gasoline the initial standoff distance is about 300 meters, and it becomes 800 in the event of a fire. For propane, the initial standoff distance is half a mile. In the event of a fire, it becomes a mile.

Mr. Trammell – What about dealing with the gas by-product  that would be released in a fire?



How dangerous is the plume?


Obviously, you don’t put water on it because that’s going to create reaction products. The way that you deal with any material in that regard is you isolate and evacuate to remove yourself from the downwind path. It’s the same approach that was taken with the fuming sulfuric acid spill in West Knoxville.

It’s hazardous, but it’s impossible to say exactly without knowing the concentration level and the duration of exposure.

Susan Gawarecki (Local Oversight Committee) - What companies formed UDS?


In looking at your rationale of trucking versus rail, what was missing was relative risk and cost. How did those figure into decision-making?



Congestion on I-40 and I-75 in the middle of the construction season can be a concern. Has that been taken into account in routing shipments?




I understand that the environmental impact statement for construction of Paducah’s conversion facility contains an analysis for shipment of ETTP cylinders to Paducah. Is that reasonable to expect and if not, why is it in there?



It’s my understanding there was a Record of Decision in this case that also specified shipment to Portsmouth.

It’s made up of Burns and Roe, Duratek Federal Services and Framatome ANP.


Generally speaking, truck shipments have a higher probability of occurrence, but rail accidents have higher consequences. A rail car could carry multiple cylinders and you have to make assumptions that there is potential for multiple releases. Shipment by trucks with dedicated trailers is more cost-effective than rail.

Those factors were taken into consideration by state emergency management agencies. One thing shipment by truck does allow you is greater potential selection of routes than rail. With general rail you have no control of routing and could go through most heavily populated part of town. A dedicated train might minimize some of the time cylinders would be in a marshalling area, but at the same time, you are carrying many cylinders.


In part, the purpose of NEPA analyses and documentation is to bound options so the selected option fits within the parameters analyzed. It’s not our intent at this time to pursue shipment of these cylinders to Paducah. It makes some intuitive sense to ship them to Portsmouth in order to try to balance out the inventories. If nothing else it helps the conversion contractor standardize the conversion facility design.


I don’t believe that that the Record of Decision would have called out Portsmouth specifically. There was a transportation assessment that came after the programmatic environmental impact statement, and there was no Record of Decision with that.

Ms. Gawarecki - So there’s actually no final decision on this, but everybody’s assuming they’re going to Portsmouth?

You mention you’ve been working with state regulators and emergency management agencies for some time. Are local authorities included in long-term planning?





Is there a realistic opportunity for the county executives or the mayor to ask for a change in the plan?







Will there be an escort?

Is Tennessee Emergency Management Agency handling all of the notification for local emergency responders?

Will DOE communicate to local emergency personnel with whom it has mutual aid agreements?

You mentioned 1,000 partials and empties that would be go in about 80 shipments. Are these the much smaller sized cylinders?

That’s reasonably accurate. There are some issues to be worked out with the state of Ohio.


We have not had specific discussions with local authorities yet. Our intent to communicate plans to them and solicit comments and that’s part of the reason for the dissemination of the current plan.



These are low-specific-activity shipments, and routed are non-DOT controlled. Because of that, the carrier has the right to choose whichever route they wish. We have tried to address the comments of the authorities within the state who have responsibilities relative to these shipments and we’ve done that through the transportation plan and training of their emergency response people.


Mr. Boyd added that there are many communities between here and Portsmouth, Ohio, and they’ve been equal partners in developing the plan, providing the training and assuring that emergency first responders will get the necessary training. In addition, he speaks regularly with the Anderson and Roane county executives and the mayor of Oak Ridge. They have not expressed a concern at this point.

There’s nothing in the plan to provide that.

They are tasked with providing that information through their area coordinators to local agencies and first responders.

No. We will notify emergency management agencies and TDEC.

This includes smaller cylinders and some partially filled larger ones.

Mr. Trammell – Has there ever been a procedure to talk to local government?

Mr. Boyd replied that in these cases the state has to help DOE decide what is the best thing to do.

Mr. Adams – Will these shipments be done as part of a caravan?

We are evaluating that, but it’s not part of the current plan.

Deputy Designated Federal Officer (DDFO) and Ex-Officio Comments.

Mr. Boyd announced that this meeting would be his last as the ORSSAB DDFO. Replacing him in that position will be Steve McCracken, who is the newly appointed Assistant Manager for EM at Oak Ridge.

Mr. Boyd also informed the Board the contracts for work in Paducah and Portsmouth have been split from the Oak Ridge contract for cleanup, which simplifies negotiations of the Oak Ridge contract.

Mr. Adler announced that two Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) documents that will be coming out for review and comment. The first Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis is the document that evaluates options for disposition of outdoor legacy waste at ETTP. The second is the Action Memorandum which concerns the remainder of the buildings that will be taken down at ETTP.

Mr. Owsley informed the Board that both TDEC and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have been involved in the development of the Transportation Plan and accepted the preferred and alternate routes for the depleted UF6 cylinder shipments. He apologized on behalf of TDEC for providing misinformation to the public concerning the transportation routes for the DUF6 cylinders.

Mr. Owsley also addressed the issue of potential flooding at the CERCLA Landfill in Bear Creek Valley, reporting that the amount of recent rain had not caused surface water problems. Some groundwater issues are being worked, but measures were put in place after heavy February rains caused problems, and the contractor was prepared to deal with the current rain event.

Ms. Jones announced the release of the final September 2001 Sampling Report for the Scarboro (Tenn.) Community. Ms. Jones reported that copies for each member have been mailed to the SSAB support office.

Public Comment

Jack Hanley and Paul Charp of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry gave a presentation on the agency’s recently completed public health assessment and evaluation of uranium releases (1944-1995) from the Oak Ridge Y-12 National Security Complex. The presentation focused on exposure of the Scarboro community, which was selected as a reference location to estimate concentrations of uranium in the air, surface water and soil in an established community in close proximity to the Oak Ridge Reservation. Scarboro residents would have received the highest exposure from past Y-12 uranium releases and were most suitable for screening. ATSDR did not determine any harmful effects among Scarboro residents from radioactive or chemical exposure to uranium in past releases, and concludes there is no further need of studies or tests at this point.

 The public comment period for the document, which is available in the correspondence file in the SSAB office and at the DOE Information Center, ends June 20. Two handouts were distributed: a fact sheet on a public meeting for the document (Attachment 2) and a newsletter from the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee (Attachment 3).

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 11, 2003, at the DOE Information Center. The presentation will focus on an overview of state monitoring programs pertaining to the Tennessee Oversight Agreement.

Mr. Mosby introduced Barbara Kosny of Oak Ridge High School and Atur Sheth of Farragut High School, who will serve as ORSSAB student representatives for the term May 2003-April 2004.

Minutes of the April  9, 2003, Board meeting were approved without change.

Lacking a quorum to approve recommendations, the Board elected to table until June agenda items VII.B and VII.C, Draft Recommendations: “ORSSAB Endorsement of the City of Oak Ridge’s Application for Renewed Annual Assistance Payments Pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954” and “Recommendation Concerning the DOE Action Memorandum for the Corehole 8 Plume Source (Tank W-1A) Removal Action at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

The Board approved the first reading of proposed changes to ORSSAB Bylaws regarding approval of recommendations, comments and letters, with one change. The change is to omit “for DOE” from Special Rules of Order I.D.8. The amended changes will receive a second reading at the June Board meeting.

The Board voted to hold the FY 2004 Annual Planning Retreat on Saturday, August 2. Mr. Mosby, as chairman, ruled the vote was invalid.

Mr. Trammell reported that the April 17 meeting of the Environmental Restoration Committee included a presentation by Jason Darby on groundwater strategies. The next committee meeting is May 22.

Mr. Million reported that the Stewardship Committee had received a briefing from Bechtel Jacobs on long-term stewardship at its April meeting. They also discussed a memo received by Dick Berry on which they plan to expand at their May 20 meeting.

Mr. Washington reported that the Waste Management Committee had toured the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility in April. Most questions focused on how rain affected the site and how overflow was managed. Mr. Washington said that excess rainfall was controlled by working 24 hours a day for five to seven days a week. He also said that cell is being managed according to regulations.

Mr. Mosby reported that the Executive Committee met with Charles Washington on May 12 to address travel and budget issues. As a result, the Executive Committee will discuss formation of an ad hoc budget committee at its May 29 meeting to look into budget issues and executive and administrative planning.

Mr. Osborne made several announcements:

           Charles Washington and Steve Kopp will meet with Sen. Lamar Alexander’s field representative on June 3.

           The League of Women Voters presentation has been postponed until fall.

           A news release is in development on retiring and new student representatives.

           The annual report has been distributed.

           An editorial plan for the next Advocate newsletter is in development.

           The May 14 meeting will be broadcast on Oak Ridge cable channel 12 on 6 p.m. May 19 and May 22.

Mr. Mulvenon reported that the Board Process Committee met May 6 to discuss proposed changes to ORSSAB Bylaws. The Board entered into the discussion to differentiate the number of votes required to conduct normal business (simple majority) and the number required to approve recommendations and advice (two-thirds) delivered to DOE and/or other agencies. The committee also discussed the August Board retreat, which its members recommend be scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1, as opposed to Saturday, Aug. 2. The next Board Process Committee meeting will be May 19. Agenda items include establishing an agenda for the retreat.

Mr. Mulvenon reported on a meeting he and Mr. Berry attended May 14 hosted by DOE. The meeting outlined the purpose and goals of the Oak Ridge Reservation Ecological Decision and Monitoring Strategy. The discussion addressed current monitoring programs including the Biological Monitoring and Abatement Programs and CERCLA Performance Monitoring.

Mr. Mosby reminded Board members that a nominating committee will be empanelled in June to choose a slate of officers for next year.

Ms. Halsey made several announcements:

           The membership package for three new members to replace Jeanne Bonner, Steve Kopp and Charles Washington has been sent to DOE Headquarters. In addition, 11 reappointment notifications and conflict of interest letters have also been submitted.

           Jeannie Brandstetter has joined the SSAB support office to replace Sheree Black. Ms. Brandstetter has extensive publications experience and previously worked with the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board.

           Several fact sheets have been recently updated and are available at the DOE Information Center (Attachment 4). Ms. Halsey asked that committees examine which sheets are relative to their work.

Public comment

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.


Mr. Alexander moved to table agenda items VII.B and VII.C until the June meeting. Mr. Mulvenon seconded. The  motion was approved by a vote of 13 in favor, 1 abstention.

Ms. Campbell moved to approve the April 9, 2003, meeting minutes. The motion was unanimously approved. (Mr. Adams, Mr. Berry and Ms. Cothron were absent for the vote).

Mr. Mulvenon moved to approve the first reading of proposed changes to ORSSAB Bylaws regarding approval of recommendations, comments and letters, as amended during the meeting. The motion was approved by a vote of 10 in favor, 1 opposed (Mr. Washington). (Mr. Adams, Mr. Berry and Ms. Cothron were absent for the vote).

Mr. Mulvenon moved to hold the FY 2004 Board retreat on Friday, Aug. 1, 2003. The motion failed by a vote of 3 in favor, 8 opposed. (Mr. Adams, Mr. Berry and Ms. Cothron were absent for the vote). This vote was declared null by the chairman.

Mr. McLeod moved to hold the FY 2004 Board retreat on Saturday, August 2, 2003. Mr. Kopp seconded the motion, which was approved by a vote of 10 in favor, 1 opposed (Mr. Mulvenon). (Mr. Adams, Mr. Berry and Ms. Cothron were absent for the vote). This vote was declared null by the chairman.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Campbell, Secretary


Attachments (4) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.