Many Voices Working for the Community
Approved June 8, 2005 Meeting Minutes
The Oak Ridge Site Specific
Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 2005, at
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy
Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Official, DOE-ORO
James Donnelly, National Nuclear Security Administration, Y-12 Site Office
Greg Eidam, Bechtel Jacobs, Co. (BJC)
10 members of the public were present
Integrated Disposition Plan for the
Mr. McCracken talked about the Integrated Facility Disposition Plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) (Attachment 1).
He opened by saying that there are facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex that will be government surplus but have not yet been incorporated into DOE’s Environmental Management Program (EM). He said former Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Paul Golan asked EM to develop a program to determine what the next group of accelerated closure projects would be and that the target for completion would be 2012.
Mr. McCracken said DOE-ORO had been working with ORNL and Y-12 to define the work to be done and present it in a manner consistent with what Mr. Golan had requested.
He said a proposal has been developed and is being
At ORNL Mr. McCracken said the east and west ends of the lab have been redeveloped, but the “central campus” contains many old buildings and contaminated areas. He said the plan is to define a specific area that requires cleanup rather than pinpoint individual sites. While defining the area was easy to do, he said coordination is extensive so the lab’s work is not disrupted during cleanup operations.
At Y-12 he said there are many buildings which are surplus. Three are already the responsibility of EM, there are few that are owned by the lab, and others that belong to Y-12. He said the plan at Y-12 is to remove all of those surplus buildings, then remediate the grounds, and finally the underground infrastructure. He said EM is already responsible for the grounds, but nothing can be done until the surplus buildings are razed.
Again, he said there must be much coordination between EM, ORNL, and NNSA, and the plan will force the three entities to work with each other in ways they never have before.
He showed photographs of the lab’s central campus indicating buildings that will come down as part of the EM closure project. He also showed photographs of the surplus buildings at Y-12 that no longer support NNSA’s mission and would be demolished.
Mr. McCracken said if the work is done as proposed, the entire campus at ORNL will have been cleaned up and the central campus will be available for expansion. At Y-12 the proposed plan would eliminate 2.2 million square feet of surplus space.
He said millions of dollars would be saved if the proposal is accepted because old structures would not have to be monitored for safety and security. Concerning the budget to do the work, Mr. McCracken said even with reduced EM budgets, as other projects throughout the complex near completion, there still would be enough money available to pay for the work proposed at ORR.
After the presentation a number of questions were asked. Following are abridged questions and answers.
Mr. Gibson – Are there more documents or details available on this plan so that we can a get a better understanding of it?
Mr. McCracken – In the decision making process, the first thing you have is mission needs. We have them addressed, but they are not ready to share yet. I’ll have more detail, but it is being prepared.
Mr. Trammell – Will the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) have enough capacity to handle the waste, and will it affect the waste acceptance criteria of the waste cell?
Mr. Trammell – Do you anticipate having to ship any of it out of here that doesn’t meet the waste acceptance criteria?
Mr. Trammell to Mr. McCracken – You’re saying there’s been little characterization of what you’re talking about now.
Mr. McCracken – We’re not sure if there is enough capacity. Recognizing that you have a sanitary landfill where you can take clean stuff, in trying to roughly divide it, the answer is maybe. We’ve done some rough calculations that say maybe we can.
Mr. McCracken – I don’t know. I’m sure there is some that would have to be shipped. I don’t know what it is and don’t know what the volumes are.
Mr. Owsley – We have been working with DOE and EPA for quite some time encouraging DOE to characterize and segregate waste in such a way to minimize the use of the CERCLA cell (EMWMF). Material that is clean can be disposed of on site. Material that is more contaminated than the waste cell can accept could go offsite. Given efficient segregation of the waste, the state feels there is sufficient capacity at EMWMF. Without segregation there would not be.
Mr. McCracken – There has not been adequate characterization, particularly in the buildings at Y-12. We need to do that.
– What is the difference between what you are doing now on the sites versus
what you are proposing?
– The work we have planned between now and 2008 and between 2008 and 2015 is
substantial. It will finish up East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). It will
Ms. Hill – You said this was not in the scope of work, but on the other hand you said you had records of decision (ROD) for the work, correct?
Ms. Hill – There are new buildings going up at both sites. And you have old buildings already there. Can these old buildings be utilized at all?
Ms. Hill – Will taking down the existing buildings contaminate the buildings and the grounds?
Ms. Hill – Going back, you said something was not in the budget. And I wrote down here ‘why was it not in the budget?’
Ms. Hill – It was stated that $11 million was needed for the non-used sites at Y-12 and ORNL. As the sites are being decontaminated and decommissioned, will that cost go down?
Mr. McCracken – Let me clarify. We have RODs for taking buildings down. We can add more building to them as we identify buildings that need to be taken down. So I have an action memorandum that says I can take buildings down at Y-12 and there’s a list of buildings. It wouldn’t be hard then to add more buildings to the list.
Mr. McCracken – No.
Mr. McCracken – It will not, because we won’t let it. We take stuff down all the time and we have to be very aware of our emissions and we control those emissions.
Mr. McCracken – There was a period over the last few years when EM was not accepting new scope because the thinking was a lot of this work was going back to Y-12 and [the Office of ] Science. That doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case anymore. And even if it was, we all knew that at some point we would have to decide what would have to be done to finish the work and not just the highest priority work. This is an attempt to not leave any lingering things out there to be done beyond the life cycle of the EM program in Oak Ridge…and to take advantage of the fact that EM is looking for the next cadre of projects they can point to as those high priority, ‘lets it get it done’ kind of plans.
Mr. McCracken – It will go away over time as we complete the job. That money can then be used for cleanup instead of surveillance and maintenance. That’s the big benefit to this.
Ms. Gawarecki – You touched on my first question, which is what happened to the initiative for NNSA and ORNL to take on cleanup responsibilities?
Ms. Gawarecki – My second question is regarding historic property. I was wondering if Beta 3 was on this closure list?
Ms. Gawarecki – I would suggest that early in the process, before you tear down anything, you start the consultation process and that way you’ll have a much better idea of what kind of funding you’ll be requesting instead leaving it to chance. In general, too, the sooner you start consulting with the community on the scope of this work and how it will be approached, the smoother it will go in the long run. With that community support behind you it will also help with the elected officials in Congress.
Mr. McCracken – I think that’s still being decided. What we were all waiting for was the decision before we defined the work, and our conclusion was we were tripping over each other from a mission standpoint. Irrespective of who does the work, we need to define what the work is.
Mr. McCracken – We know the calutron is sitting there and we need to deal with that.
Mr. McCracken – This has a long way to go. We could have said we’re a year ahead of ourselves before rolling this out and really talk about it. We wanted to go ahead and start talking about it now, with the understanding that we’re not there yet. This is going to require us to define the projects and the source of money to do it, and figure out how to do it.
The question you asked about who was going to do the
work; we decided when we started talking about this a couple of months ago,
that we weren’t going to argue about that. What makes sense is design what
the work is, figure out how to generate interest in funding it, and that
requires the support of all the missions in
Mr. McCracken – If you ask me, the three greatest dangers, in order, are: something falling on your head, chemical, and radiation. We pay a lot of attention to radiation, and about as much to chemical, but it’s construction hazards that will get you hurt. You’re wearing a respirator, you can’t hear, you can’t see, and you can’t talk to each other, and that’s what will get you hurt.
Mr. Kennerly – Is there any concern that the EMWMF will be able to contain all the material? A building with about a 50 acre footprint will generate about a million cubic feet. The cell capacity is 1.7 million cubic yards. That being the case, if Y-12 contributes 1 million and the lab 400,000 cubic feet, we’d be over, would we not? Do you think it’s possible to build beyond 1.7?
Mr. Kennerly – 2.2 will probably handle that.
Mr. McCracken – It can go to 2.2, but then we’d have to make sure the state and EPA are OK with that.
Mr. McCracken - Yes.
Mr. Myrick – Do you have a guess as to how much it will add to the baseline?
Mr. McCracken – It will probably be between $1.5 and $2 billion. It would be substantial. Which is another reason to try to work this out now, because our budgets are starting to go down and if we can keep them level or starting to go down that’s what we ought to do.
K-25/K-27 D&D – Status and Criticality
Mr. Eidam, project manager for the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of Buildings K-25 and K-27 at ETTP, gave a presentation on the current status of D&D of the buildings and the potential for criticality in the process (Attachment 2).
He began his presentation by saying the D&D of those buildings is not a mechanical challenge. He described it as “Henry Ford’s dream in reverse.” He said it is not an assembly line, but a disassembly line.
He said the key challenges in the project include nuclear criticality, security, nuclear material control and accountability, nuclear facility safety, technetium 99 contamination, and waste management and transportation logistics.
In doing the work there he said his team took lessons learned from a number of sources on several issues and used that information to design their own D&D procedures (Attachment 2, page 2).
He noted some differences in the way BNFL handled disposal of converters at Buildings K-29, K-31, and K-33 and how converters are being disposed of from K-25 and K-27. He said the size of those handled by BNFL required them to be cut up prior to disposal. The converters at K-25 and K-27 are smaller and can be disposed of whole at either the Nevada Test Site or at the EMWMF.
He said the D&D is on schedule. Disposal of hazardous material is about 85 percent complete and by the end of the summer work at K-25 will be finished. He noted a number of activities underway in cleaning out the buildings (Attachment 2, page 2). He said about 400 truckloads of combustibles and 265 truckloads of loose material had been removed from the buildings.
Mr. Eidam said later this summer DOE Headquarters will conduct an operational readiness review to determine if BJC is ready to undertake the big portion of the work. When BJC passes the readiness review, the work will begin to remove process equipment. He said criticality is always a concern and there is potential for it, but he said BJC is using two layers of protection to eliminate causes of criticality.
He said BJC is on schedule to have the work completely finished by the end of 2008.
After the presentation a number of questions were asked. Following are abridged questions and answers.
Mr. Mulvenon – In reading a newspaper article by Frank Munger there were some comments and quotes by you that there was a potential criticality problem. I went back and read all the documents, the engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) for K-25 and 27, and I spoke with a number of other people to try to recall the comments at public meetings about the project. And every time the subject of criticality came up, everybody said ‘don’t worry about it’ and there were a lot of good reasons for that. So we were a little taken aback by the newspaper article. I’m wondering what happened between then and now that criticality is now a concern. I also went and looked at the responsiveness summary of the removal action for the comments that were made on the EE/CA. And there isn’t one thing about criticality.
Mr. Eidam – If you go to the EE/CA itself criticality is addressed in the appendices talking about criticality and protection. Whenever you have enriched uranium you have the potential for criticality. Is there a potential for geometry? As you’re taking components apart can you combine this stuff to get yourself in geometry? Is there a potential for water? From an operational standpoint the place is safe the way it is. What I need to be sure of is that it remains safe.
Mr. Mulvenon – The point I’m making is from a period of ‘don’t worry about it’ to now is something different. And also transport of material across town to Y-12 for storage.
Mr. Eidam – I guess the point I want to make is that a year ago when I talked to this group, nuclear criticality was the first thing I had on the list. I can’t ignore it. But I’m not concerned because we’re not going to have criticality, because we’re going to be positive that we do it safely.
We’re going to keep components separate. We’re going to do the appropriate studies for disposal at EMWMF. If I have components with certain amounts of uranium how far apart can they be? If the shelves of those components deteriorate could they co-mingle? We’ve done that analysis. We’re ensuring that we have that protection.
Mr. Mulvenon – I’m not disputing that and I think it’s a good plan. I just don’t understand how it went from one situation to another; from one document to another. I’m just a little bit surprised because we made a big point of asking about criticality during the EE/CA.
Mr. Eidam – I can’t answer to the history of that.
Mr. Adams – When DOE comes in and does a readiness inspection, are they bringing their own employees in or are they bringing in other contractors to review you?
Mr. Eidam – A combination of both. Some of them are nationally recognized experts. Some are DOE employees; some are sub-contractors to assist them. You’re looking at experts in a number of different fields – nuclear safety, security, criticality, OSHA safety, chemical…
Ms. Reagan – I have a question about the foaming operations. Are you using isocyanates parts A and B?
Ms. Reagan – From that standpoint, is that what you’re talking about worker exposure?
Ms. Reagan – So you’re filling those converters with foam?
Mr. Eidam – Yes
Mr. Eidam – Yes. Worker exposure and off-site exposure if you should have a fire.
Mr. Eidam – Yes. Your hazard is the chemical sitting in the container originally. But once it is put with the second chemical and hardened you don’t have that potential issue. While deploying it, you have some heat being generated when it’s setting up. That’s one of the lessons learned from Rocky Flats. Now we’re pretty comfortable with it; we’ve done a lot of testing. At Rocky Flats they were trying to fill on a lift a 17-foot tunnel. The largest component we have is 16-inch piping. So there is a big difference between a 17-foot lift and a 16-inch lift. So it made a big difference when we did testing. We put thermocouples in there, ran foam, and saw what the temperatures were to ensure it from a safety perspective.
Ms. Hill – On this technetium 99 contamination, what is that and why don’t you have very much information on that?
Mr. Eidam – Technetium-99, which is an isotope of processed fuel that was contaminated, so you’re looking at a fission product in that particular case. We also have to deal with it from a worker protection standpoint. Being very mobile, there is the potential of getting airborne and on a worker, so they wear double layers of protection. It takes twice as much to remove a component contaminated with tech 99 than one that is not.
Mr. Kennerly – I’m concerned about the big difference in the K-25, K-27 converters and the ones you dealt with in K-29, 31, and 33 in that they are multi-path and the sequestering of deposits in there might be hard to get to and hard to figure out. That’s one of the things that has always concerned me about that plant.
Mr. Eidam – Let’s hit that one next week (at the Environmental Management Committee meeting); that would be a good one for us to get into.
Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments
Mr. McCracken had no additional comments beyond his
presentation, but he was asked by Mr. Trammell about any requests to receive
Mr. Trammell also asked Mr. McCracken about the A-76 process, which examines certain government operations to determine if they are inherently governmental or should be put out for bid to contractors. Mr. McCracken said a study is underway to determine if any of the environmental engineering services should be contracted. He said the study should be complete in about two months and then a request for proposals will be issued for those functions that are determined suitable for contracting. He felt the request for proposals will come out in draft form, which will allow for public comment.
Mr. Gibson asked about the status of awarding a new contract for the extended operation of the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator. Mr. McCracken there are a number of questions that need to be answered by DOE headquarters regarding a new contract, but once they are addressed a request for proposals will be issued. He said the intent is to award a new contract in October, with the transition in January or February of 2006.
Ms. Jones said EPA has been working with TDEC and DOE to de-list some property outside of the Zone 1 and 2 areas of ETTP from the National Priorities List (NPL) for cleanup and reduce the footprint of the reservation. She explained that the entire reservation had been placed on the NPL even though some areas of the reservation contained no waste or contamination. She said this process was an effort remove land that has no waste or contamination from the NPL.
She also said EPA, DOE, and BJC were working through some aspects of the accelerated cleanup process at ETTP that had not been clearly defined when the project began. She said they were trying to determine how to evaluate any unexpected contamination that might be encountered during cleanup operations.
Mr. Owsley said TDEC’s environmental monitoring report
for 2004 has been published with copies available at TDEC’s
Announcements and Other Board Business
The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, July 13 at
Mr. McCracken introduced
Mr. McCracken also recognized outgoing members of the
Board, John Kennerly,
The minutes of the May 11 minutes were approved without change.
Two additions were made to the agenda.
The proposed changes to the ORSSAB bylaws were approved with one abstention (Attachments 3 and 4).
The proposed change to the ORSSAB Bylaws Article III
B, “Terms of Service,” was not approved by a vote of 8 for and 9 against
(Attachment 5). Mr. Trammell put Mr.
The Nominating Committee was elected by a vote of 16 for and 1 against.
The vote on Mr. Miller’s two consecutive absences was removed from the agenda since Mr. Miller was in attendance.
Board Finance - Mr. Mosby reported that the committee had an allocation of $13,135 that had been carried over from the FY 2004 budget. That money has been assigned to the “other” category and will be used for various Board activities. He said only $300,000 had been allocated for the Board for FY 2006 budget, but that Ms. Halsey would continue to work to have that allocation changed to the FY 2005 level of $350,000.
Environmental Management - Mr. Gibson showed some photographs of the Weldon
Spring nuclear waste disposal site near
– Minutes of the May 31 meeting were distributed (Attachment 6). Mr. Mulvenon
said the committee had been working on plans to have booths at the Secret City
Festival, June 17 and 18 and the Y-12 Safety Expo, June 22. He asked for
volunteers to man the booths. He said the committee is also looking at updating
the ORSSAB exhibit at the
Stewardship – Mr. Adams said the committee heard two presentations at its May meeting; one on record management and one on filing contamination notices with county land registrars of deeds. He suggested the Executive Committee look at restructuring the Board meeting agendas to allow more time for committee reports.
Executive – Mr. Trammell referred members to the minutes in the meeting packets. He noted that Fred Dowd at DOE Headquarters at passed away unexpectedly and the committee had sent a card of condolence to his family on behalf of the Board. He also said the committee had received a letter from Daniel Axelrod who had comments about the Stewardship Education Resource Kit. That letter was forwarded to the Public Outreach Committee and also recorded in the Incoming Correspondence file. He said the committee reviewed the other committees’ work plans for the remainder of the year.
– Ms. Bogard noted that seven Board members had not yet signed up for interview
times with Ms. Whitworth (see Additions to Agenda). She said the interviews
would provide an excellent time for members to express comments or concerns
about the Board. She said the annual meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 13 at
Pollard Auditorium in
Federal Coordinator Report
Ms. Halsey said she had received fax copies of seven reappointment letters for current members and six appointment letters for new members. She said the Board will have a full contingent of 20 members for the July meeting.
Additions to the Agenda
Ms. Whitworth reminded the Board that she is helping with developing the program for the annual meeting in August and she wants to gain input from members regarding their experiences on the Board. That information would be used to plan the program for the meeting. She said the best way to do that was through individual interviews with Board members. She distributed a summary of topics that the interview questions would cover and asked each member to sign up for an interview time (Attachment 7).
Mr. Mulvenon reminded the Board that the Public Outreach Committee will have a booth at the Secret City Festival, June 17 and 18 and at the Y-12 Safety Expo on June 22. He asked for volunteers to man the booths.
Mr. McLeod and Mr. Olson were absent for all votes.
Mr. Million moved to approve the minutes of the May 11, 2005 Board meeting. Ms. Cothron seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gibson moved to approve the proposed change to
Bylaws Article III. B, “Terms of Service.” Mr. Adams seconded. The motion failed 8 to 9 with Mr. Adams, Ms.
Campbell, Ms. Cothron, Ms. DeMint, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Kennerly, Mr. Mosby, and Mr.
Mulvenon voting for the change. Ms. Bogard, Mr.
Mr. Mulvenon moved to elect the Nominating Committee,
which consists of Mr. Adams, Mr.
The meeting adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
Mr. Adler will check with Jason Darby to see if there has been any
action on Mr. Adam’s suggestion to develop a three-point position tag to
indicate where documents are located. (Carryover
2. Mr. Adler will prepare a schedule of final RODs, including expected initiation and completion date; issues to be addressed; and stewardship issues such as responsibility, funding, and public involvement for the future. (Carryover item from 4/13/05)
Mr. Adler will check to see if any large trees have been cut to make