Many Voices Working for the Community

Oak Ridge
Site Specific Advisory Board

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Approved July 13, 2005 Meeting Minutes

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB) held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 13, 2005, at the DOE Information Center in Oak Ridge, beginning at 6 p.m. A video of the meeting was made and may be viewed by phoning the Information Center at 865-241-4780.

Members Present

Ben Adams
Darryl Bonner
Bruce Bowland
Donna Campbell
Heather Cothron
Amy DeMint
Steve Dixon
Steve Douglas
Chris Grove
Pat Hill
Tonya Justice1
Lance Mezga
James Miller
Norman Mulvenon
Tim Myrick
Robert Olson
Sandy Reagan
Ken Sadler
Kerry Trammell, Chair

Members Absent

Rhonda Bogard, Secretary
Meredith James1

1Student Representative

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officios Present

Dave Adler, Ex-Officio, Department of Energy - Oak Ridge Operations (DOE-ORO)
Pat Halsey, Federal Coordinator, DOE-ORO
Connie Jones, Ex-Officio, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4
Steve McCracken, Deputy Designated Federal Official, DOE-ORO
John Owsley, Ex-Officio, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Others Present

Bill Cahill, DOE-ORO
Paul Clay, Bechtel Jacobs Co. (BJC)
Mildred Ferre, DOE-ORO
Spencer Gross, Spectrum
Jim Kopotic, DOE-ORO
Pete Osborne, Spectrum
Ralph Skinner, DOE-ORO

Seven members of the public were present.


Status of Cleanup Work in the Melton Valley, East Tennessee Technology Park, and Balance of Reservation Programs.

Melton Valley – Mr. Skinner reported work is almost finished in Melton Valley and should be complete by about this time next year. He briefed the Board about what had been completed in Melton Valley and what is expected in fiscal year 2006 (Attachment 1).

He briefly explained what had been accomplished with hydrologic isolation, in-situ grouting of Trenches 5 and 7, the homogeneous reactor experiment, the Melton Valley Soils and Sediments project, tank remediation, transuranic waste retrieval, the Melton Valley decommissioning and decontamination project (D&D), and molten salt reactor experiment activities.

After his presentation he answered questions from Board members. Following are abridged questions and answers.



Mr. Myrick – Is a water treatment plant not needed in Melton Valley?

Mr. Skinner – There was a water treatment plant in the original plan on the east side of the Solid Waste Storage Area 4 cap. What we’re going to do, though, is use a surge tank to collect the waste water and pipe it over to the existing waste treatment system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The old liquid low level waste lines will be removed or plugged.

Mr. Trammell – What about any stewardship activities related to Melton Valley?

Mr. Skinner – Each project produces a project construction completion report or PCCR and it identifies any need for stewardship – maintenance, monitoring. Anything that is required to satisfy the record of decision (ROD) is captured in the PCCR.

Those are put in an overall Remedial Action Report. That will be done in 2007. Those requirements are also in the Remediation Effectiveness Report. We check every year to make sure those issues are addressed.

The specifics associated with stewardship are captured in the ROD in a particular section for long term stewardship institutional and administrative controls.

Mr. Adams – Will you have any kind of system that brings stewardship issues forward continually so we don’t have to wait for the full report? We want them added to a stewardship index. Can you do that?

Mr. Skinner – I’m sure we can. I’ve never thought about a specific index the way you’re saying. But I think the annual review, as well as the ongoing surveillance and maintenance that’s required to take care of these remediations, would pick that up. Where we’ve closed waste in place, there is a map produced that can be transferred to the local land use authority. That helps answer some of the questions of the Stewardship Committee by documenting on maps where waste is found. It’s easily accessed by the public.

Ms. Halsey – The document Mr. Adams is asking about is the Remediation Effectiveness Report (RER). Once we have a completion document approved by the regulators any monitoring or stewardship requirements are put in a table in the RER and then checked when we go through the monitoring process. Jason Darby is responsible for keeping that updated with every completion report we generate.

Mr. Myrick – Just a comment. I think the SSAB, DOE, and BJC should be really proud of the accomplishments out there. It’s amazing what’s going on and it’s only a year away from being finished.

Mr. Skinner – Some of the folks on the Stewardship Committee have been out to visit and we welcome anyone who wants to come out for a "windshield" tour. If you’ve been out before or seen pictures of days gone by, it’s very different. We’ve done a lot of work. I think the community will benefit from it and I think it will pay dividends in the long run.

East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) – Mr. Cahill provided the update on D&D activities at ETTP (Attachment 2).

He said much progress has been made toward closure. A number of buildings have been demolished or transferred to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee. Fences have been relocated to accommodate remediation activities.

He briefed the Board on D&D activities at the K-25 and K-27 Buildings (Attachment 2, page 2) and what has been done so far regarding D&D of other structures and infrastructure reduction (Attachment 2, page 4). He outlined what is planned for remaining D&D of K-25 and K-27 and remaining facilities and infrastructure for 2006 (Attachment 2, pages 3 and 5).

At the conclusion of his presentation he turned to Mr. Kopotic to talk about remedial action projects at ETTP.

Mr. Kopotic began by saying that ETTP had been divided into three Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) RODs. Those are Zone 1, which comprises about 1,400 acres outside of the main ETTP campus; Zone 2, about 800 acres of the main campus; and a site-wide ROD that includes surface water, ecological risk, and groundwater for both Zones 1 and 2.

He said five areas had been identified for cleanup in Zone 1. A critical component of the Zone 1 ROD is the dynamic verification strategy, which confirms that areas have been cleaned up in accordance with the ROD and that no areas have been missed.

He said the Blair Quarry remediation was finished in February 2005 and as of June 21,000 tons of scrap had been removed from the K-770 Scrapyard and sent to the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF).

The Zone 2 ROD was signed by Federal Facility Agreement parties in April 2005 and a site-wide remedial investigation and feasibility study is underway.

Concerning waste operations, he said the Toxic Substances Control Act Incinerator (TSCAI) successfully completed the Comprehensive Performance Test in March, demonstrating compliance with Maximum Achievable Control Technology Emission Limits. To date, the TSCAI has treated more than 360,000 pounds of waste.

He said the Central Neutralization Facility has treated more than 20 million gallons of waste water. In 2005, 1,790 uranium hexafluoride cylinders have been shipped to Portsmouth, Ohio. Almost 4,000 cylinders have been shipped to date.

Mr. Kopotic noted the planned activities for 2006 at ETTP (Attachment 2, page 9) and the characterization/verification and decision documents that are due in 2006 (Attachment 2, page 10).

No questions were asked of Mr. Cahill or Mr. Kopotic.

Balance of the Reservation – Ms. Ferre said basically everything not covered at ETTP or in Melton Valley is in the Balance of the Reservation Program, including the David Witherspoon site in South Knoxville.

She said the engineering study had been completed for Bethel Valley Groundwater soil remediation and has been submitted to the EPA and TDEC.

The engineering study for Corehole 8 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been completed. A Sampling and Analysis Plan to determine characteristics and extent of transuranic soil around tank W-1A has been done. This plan will be used for soil excavation in 2006.

She said the original plan for the Hot Storage Garden was to remove and dispose the baskets and grout the wells in place. The area has since been painted with a fixative material to secure remaining contaminants in place from the previous remediation attempts. A building with negative air pressure has been built over the site to conduct additional characterization of material that was removed from the baskets. She said the characterization will determine the disposition path of the waste. The characterization will also be used to analyze hazards and determine controls needed to finish the remediation in 2008.

Ms. Ferre said all buildings and scrap have been removed from the David Witherspoon 901 site and soil remediation is set to begin in August. She said work at the site has been done without injury or incident.

Construction of the Big Spring Water Treatment System has been completed and the plant is due to begin operation soon. She said it was built to remove mercury from water collected from Big Spring and the sump of Building 9201 at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The treated water is then returned to Upper East Fork Poplar Creek.

Surveillance and maintenance (S&M) is also part of the Balance of Reservation Program and includes long-term surveillance of closed sites and continued surveillance of buildings awaiting D&D. She said DOE and BJC continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of surveillance. She pointed out a number of examples of those initiatives (Attachment 3, page 7).

As part of the S&M program, transfer of the Tower Shield Reactor Facility to the Office of Science/UT-Battelle has been completed. She said a new cap for the East Chestnut Ridge Waste Pile has been put in place.

Another component of the Balance of Reservation Program is the Water Quality Program. Samples are collected for the 2005 Remediation Effectiveness Report.

The Balance of Reservation Program includes the disposition of low level and mixed low level waste (LLW and MLLW). Ms. Ferre said to date 1.085 million cubic feet of LLW and about 35,000 cubic feet of MLLW has been treated or disposed. About 150,000 cubic feet of LLW and 15,000 cubic feet of MLLW remain to be disposed by the end of 2005. She said only about 1 percent of all waste on the reservation currently has no pathway for disposal.

In conclusion, she briefed the Board on planned activities for the Balance of Reservation Program for 2006 (Attachment 3, pages 12 and 13). She said cells 3 and 4 at the EMWMF have been completed adding 800,000 cubic yards of capacity to the waste cell. Further expansion in 2006 will bring it to the planned capacity of 1.2 million cubic yards.

She said the Haul Road from ETTP to EMWMF will be completed by December. And she said plans are going forward to have the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) take responsibility for disposing of newly generated waste at Y-12.

After her presentation, Ms. Ferre answered several questions.



Ms. DeMint – The original plan for the Haul Road called for two bridges. I see now there are three. Where is the third bridge?

Ms. Ferre deferred to Mr. Clay

Mr. Clay – It is near the bridge being built near Highway 95 and Bear Creek Road. It’s being built in the interest of the migratory habits of the Tennessee dace, which will not travel through a box culvert.

Mr. McCracken – The Tennessee dace will not move upstream if it’s too dark. A box culvert will make it too dark, so that’s why we’re building a third bridge.

Mr. Douglas – Are there any factors that might prevent DOE from making the legacy waste milestone in December?

Ms. Ferre – We have identified all the risks and are managing them, so we are on track to make the milestone.

Mr. Myrick – You talked about newly generated waste at Y-12, but you didn’t mention ORNL. Are you still planning to transfer waste management to the lab?

Ms. Ferre – We would like to do that, but it’s on hold right now. We’re dealing with some issues and working on some strategies. It’s going to happen but I don’t know exactly when.

Ms. Reagan - Is the Big Spring Treatment System for springs underneath Alpha 4 and Alpha 2 and if so, is that a long-term treatment?

Ms. Ferre – It is a long-term treatment system. I don’t know the origination point of the spring but it’s not near the Alpha 4 area.

The system will also be used to replace one of the existing mercury treatment units we have in Building 9201-2 which is along the creek. It is some distance from the Alpha 4 facility.

Ms. Reagan – There are springs underneath Alpha 4 and in those sumps there used to be some pretty high concentrations of mercury. Is there another treatment system for those?

Ms. Ferre – There are existing facilities like the Central Mercury Treatment Facility and the Central Pollution Control Facility. Those are in place and I think NNSA will continue to operate them. They are basically collecting from all those buildings you mentioned.

Ms. Reagan – Have they been shifted to treat groundwater from those facilities?

Ms. Ferre – There are some areas where we’re treating groundwater, but primarily those treatment systems are used for collecting water from sumps of the facilities where the source of mercury is mainly located.

Deputy Designated Federal Official and Ex-Officio Comments

Mr. McCracken had no comments.

Mr. Adler had no comments.

Ms. Jones noted that the Board was interested in the problem of on-site disposal of concrete. She said the ETTP remedial action core team is working through ways to finalize the process.

Mr. Owsley had no comments.

Pubic Comment

Luther Gibson, a former ORSSAB member, said that while members can receive good information at Board meetings on the activities on the Oak Ridge Reservation, he reminded members that most of the work of the Board is done at the committee level. He said more probing questions can be asked at committee meetings and members can get more detailed answers. He encouraged members to pick topics and learn about them so they can contribute to the Board.

He asked the Board members to review his trip reports in the meeting packet, particularly the report on the FEDRAD 2005 conference in St. Louis where a national waste disposition strategy was discussed. He suggested the Board develop comments on national waste disposition to send to DOE.

Announcements and Other Board Business

The next Board meeting will be Saturday, August 13 at Pollard Auditorium in Oak Ridge. The meeting will consist of the annual planning retreat from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the annual meeting from 4–4:30 p.m. New officers for fiscal year 2006 will be elected at the annual meeting.

Mr. McCracken introduced Messrs. Bonner, Bowland, Douglas, Grove, Mezga, and Sadler as new members of the Board.

Mr. McCracken also recognized Luther Gibson, who had completed his three terms of service on the board, and presented him with a service award.

The minutes of the June 8, 2005 meeting were approved without change.

The recommendation "Standardized Language Submitted to Land Record Authorities of Land with Notices of Contamination" was approved.

Committee Reports

Board Finance – For the benefit of new members, Mr. Trammell explained that the committee is responsible for making sure money is available for expenditures. He said the committee at its last meeting adjusted some accounts to sustain them for the remainder of the year. He said the committee discussed the lag time in receiving reimbursements from DOE for travel. The committee also approved the purchase of software for the support staff.

Environmental Management – Mr. Myrick referred Board members to read the minutes in the meeting packet. He said the committee received a report on the criticality issue regarding the K-25/K-27 D&D at ETTP. He asked about receiving criticality safety reports on the project. Mr. Adler said those reports are in the draft stage and are being reviewed by EPA and TDEC. After they are finalized they will be shared with the Board.

Public Outreach – Mr. Mulvenon told the new members that the Board has an environmental management exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy. The committee is currently working to update that exhibit. He said the committee is also making plans for the ORSSAB 10th anniversary party in September. The exact date has not yet been set. He mentioned that he will be doing a presentation about the ORSSAB to Mike Arms in the Knox County mayor’s office. He said the committee had booths set up at the Secret City Festival and the Y-12 Safety Expo in June. Committee members are working with personnel at the University of Tennessee to design a workshop for teachers to use the Stewardship Education Resource Kit. Mr. Mulvenon and Ms. Cothron encouraged Board members to participate on the committee.

Stewardship – Mr. Adams noted that Ms. Campbell has suggested doing a stewardship video. He said Lorene Sigal is working on a project investigating the regulatory basis of stewardship. Mr. Adams recognized Al Brooks as the primary author of the recommendation on standardizing nomenclature in land records that the Board passed earlier in the meeting. He reminded the Board that he and Ms. Campbell will be attending the American Nuclear Society’s Decontamination, Decommissioning and Reutilization Conference in Denver in August. He will present a paper called "Two Counties – One City," a study on which the recommendation, noted earlier, is based. He said at the last committee meeting, members heard presentations on costs of stewardship and a system EPA uses to keep track of records on land with contamination. He invited new members to consider serving on the Stewardship Committee.

Executive – Mr. Trammell said the committee discussed the recommendation which was passed earlier in the meeting. He said the committee also discussed the proposed agenda for the annual retreat in August. He invited new members to attend Executive Committee meetings.

Board Process – Mr. Mulvenon reported in Ms. Bogard’s absence. He said the committee discussed planning for the annual retreat. The committee also talked about education of new members and continuing education for current members. A training program is planned for new members on August 12 prior to the annual retreat. He said orientation and training is important for participation on the Board. He said a survey indicates it takes 18 months to two years for new members to truly understand the workings of the Board and the issues it follows.

He explained to new members that Board Process is responsible for bylaws and standing rules and proposing any revisions or changes.

Nominating – New officers will be elected at the August Board meeting. Mr. Adams reported that the Nominating Committee will submit a slate of candidates consisting of Mr. Trammell as candidate for chair, Ms. Bogard as vice-chair, and Ms. Reagan as secretary. Mr. Trammell noted that nominations will also be taken from the floor at the August meeting.

Federal Coordinator Report

Ms. Halsey said a training session for the six new members will be conducted on Friday, August 12; time to be determined. She invited all Board members to attend for a refresher course on member responsibilities, Board structure, and other issues.

She said Dick Berry had submitted his resignation to the Board, effective immediately. The process to fill that position will begin immediately.

Additions to the Agenda

No additions.



Mr. Adams moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Myrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Hill moved to approve the minutes of the June 8, 2005 meeting. Mr. Dixon seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Adams moved to approve the recommendation for "Standardized Language Submitted to Land Record Authorities of Land with Notices of Contamination." Mr. Mulvenon seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Action Items

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 item from 4/13/05)

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)


Attachments (3) to these minutes are available on request from the ORSSAB support office.

I certify that these minutes are an accurate account of the July 13, 2005 meeting of the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board.