Nuclear Decommissioning and the Strategic Alliance
Source: DOE
Date: 5/12/97    Record No.: 10450
Contact: Rock AKER, Com Ed's representative in the Alliance

Nuclear Decommissioning and the Strategic Alliance

Major programs are underway in the Federal sector to begin D&D -- decommissioning and decontamination (and dismantlement!) -- of nuclear facilities. DOE's efforts are focused on the many contaminated weapons facilities and lab sites around the country, but much of the technology being developed and applied will be directly relevant to the decommissioning of civilian power reactors.

Only a few civilian reactors have been shut down so far, but eventually this huge issue will have to be addressed (maybe sooner rather than later, with industry restructuring). Some utilities are already paying close attention. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has industry working groups dealing with the government on policy issues, but there's been little attention so far to the technologies to be used. (EPRI has a new initiative in this area, just getting started.)

With so much at stake, utilities already dealing with shut-down plants are understandably wary of new technology, so the government's efforts to "prove" new technology could prove to be quite valuable.

Of immediate interest--a conference featuring a special on site tour of the CP-5 at Argonne National Lab, where new robotics technology is being used in the large scale demonstration project there.

* **The Fourth Annual Nuclear Decommissioning Decisionmakers' Forum***
A Monitor Publications & Forums Event; Co-sponsored by: Commonwealth Edison

Argonne National Laboratory
Executive Conference Center
Chicago, Illinois
June 24-27, 1997

Melding Government, Utilities & University DD&D Programs. . . to Get Real World Solutions
. . A gathering of Who's Who in the federal & commercial decommissioning arena where one is able to raise key concerns with key decisionmakers. Featuring...
- James J. O'Connor, CEO and Chairman, Commonwealth Edison
- Dr. Dean Eastman, Director, Argonne National Laboratory
- Cherri Langenfeld, Manager, Chicago Operations Office - DOE
- Dr. Clyde Frank, Dpty Assist Scrtry for Sci. & Technol, DOE - EM
- Rita Bajura, Director, DOE Federal Energy Technology Center
... plus other senior utility executives and top officials from DOE, EPA, NRC; and executives from decommissioning service firms

Special On-Site Visits. . . See Actual DD&D at Argonne's CP-5 and ComEd's Dresden-1 Reactors. View the actual opening of the CP-5 reactor containment vessel utilizing new robotics technology

For more information on the conference, contact Eileen Schmitz, Weapons Complex Monitor Forums Office. 847-234-2353


There will also be a major international conference in Miami, December 1-5, 1997, sponsored by DOE, on the theme of cost reduction for D&D, and technology transfer "across the oceans". To get on the mailing list for further details as they become available, contact Chuck Broom, ICF Consulting, 630-778-0972,


OVERVIEW -- Since this is such a complicated topic, with so many programs and players, here's a very quick overview, presented as a series of definitions:

--> "D&D" --
Decommissioning and Decontamination (and Dismantlement!) of nuclear facilities

--> "EM" -- Environmental Management --
This is the DOE Office responsible for dealing with management and cleanup of sites within the DOE complex. EM-40, the Office of Environmental Restoration; has line management responsibility for clean up. EM-50 is Office of Science and Technology. EM-60 handles deactivation of facilities (done long before D&D can begin). EM sponsors a great deal of work in remediation for both radioactive and other hazards and contamination.

At FETC in Morgantown (METC and PETC have merged into FETC), there's a group (not connected to Fossil) that manages part of the EM D&D program.
More information is available at:

"The mission of the D&D Focus Area is to develop, demonstrate, and deploy improved technologies and systems; to solve customer-identified needs; to decontaminate and decommission DOE's radiologically contaminated surplus facilities and their contents; and to facilitate the acceptance, approval, transfer, commercialization, and implementation of these technologies and systems."

--> "LSDP" -- Large Scale Demonstration Projects --
Major projects sponsored by EM to integrate the ongoing D&D of specific government facilities with the deployment of a number of new technologies in real conditions, and evaluate their performance. Four such projects are currently underway.

The mission is "to select innovative, 'field test ready' decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) technologies, demonstrate those technologies in a large scale demonstration environment, and compare the results against existing commercial technologies with the intent of showing that significant benefits can be achieved through the utilization of enhanced D&D technologies or verify existing technology practices are the most cost effective."

--> "CP-5" --

The first LSDP has been underway for some time at Argonne National Lab, at the CP-5 reactor ("Chicago Pile 5").

--> "Strategic Alliance for Environmental Restoration" --
The consortia of contractors for the CP-5 LSDP, comprised of Duke Engineering and Services, 3M, ICF Inc., Florida International University, and Commonwealth Edison. The contract is a cooperative agreement with DOE, but not a CRADA -- all results will public information, and the group is just now gearing up to tell the story more widely in the utility industry.

The "deliverables" of the Strategic Alliance will take the form of additional titles in the "Green Books" series -- reports documenting proven technology for environmental remediation. (See separate UFTO Note)

The Alliance has a very detailed web site at:

To find detailed descriptions of the technologies being tested, click on "Demonstration Projects", and then "Technology Demonstrations". Use the "guest" log on feature.

For more information:
There are many institutions and people involved (e.g., several offices of DOE, Argonne, and all of the Alliance participants), and many of them can be hard to get a hold of. I can provide more contacts if you want them.

Mr. Rock AKER, Com Ed's representative in the Alliance, has kindly offered to serve as a point of contact for UFTO members. He can be reached at Tel 630-663-5491 email:

Topics: Nuclear