Decommissioning Support Services

PWGC offers comprehensive decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) and waste management (WM) services for facilities that have reached the end of their useful life, as well as cost estimates for specific end states for your site. Our team of experts have extensive experience in decommissioning various kinds of reactors. For projects requiring treatment and handling of radioactive waste or spent fuel, including storage and disposal, PWGC is ready to provide a suite of comprehensive, state-of-the-art solutions.

Relevant services include:

  • Site & waste characterization plans
  • D&D project planning
  • Reactor stabilization for long-term safe storage
  • Remedial system design & feasibility studies
  • Cost estimates for end states (greenfield, “cold and dark,” etc)
  • UST removal/installation
  • Spent fuel services
  • Waste treatment systems
  • Remediation of radiologically contaminated soils
  • Design for treatment plant discharge modifications
  • Post-operation support

PWGC counts the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration among the federal clientele who have benefited from our in-depth experience. The following project summaries have been selected to demonstrate our spectrum of experience. Detailed project descriptions can be provided upon request.

HFBR Tritium Groundwater Plume Investigation & Remediation

PWGC was contracted by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to investigate and delineate the tritium groundwater plume associated with the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR). Services included the installation of temporary vertical profile borings, permanenet monitoring wells and recovery/extraction wells using various drilling technologies, including Geoprobe® and Hollow Stem Auger. PWGC provided observation and support services such as:

  • Coordination and execution of daily safety meetings
  • Health and safety oversight
  • Oversight of subcontractors and field crew
  • Collection of soil and groundwater samples
  • Soil classification using the USCS and Munsell Color Chart
  • Decontamination of sampling equipment
  • Documenting and tracking wastes generated
  • Development of permanent monitoring wells
  • Documentation of field observations, including blow counts, sample collection techniques visual observation, health and safety information, and construction activities

PWGC also evaluated alternatives for remediation of the tritium plume, including capital and operating cost projections. PWGC engineers designed and provided construction oversight of the start-up of the associated groundwater remediation system on an urgent basis. The system design included treatment system mechanical design, structural and electrical systems, as well as piping and related

Removal of HFBR Waste Transfer Lines

The Waste Transfer Lines Project was part of a suite of near-term decontamination and dismantlement (D&D) remedial actions for Brookhaven National Lab’s HFBR. The transfer lines consisted of the A-, B- and original D-waste lines; the non-acid off-gas pipe; the steam line; and the replacement stand-alone D-waste line.

PWGC managed the project, which included:

  • The removal of the A& B waste transfer lines
  • The excavation of contaminated soil
  • Completion of a final status survey (FSS), including an independent verification survey (IVS) performed by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)
  • Completion of a post-closure dose assessment using the Residual Radioactivity Computer Code (RESRAD)
  • The characterization and disposal of soil and debris at Energy Solutions Disposal Facility of Clive, Utah
  • Site restoration

HFBR & Balance of Plant (BOP) Preliminary Assessment & Site Inspection

PWGC conducted a Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI) within the reactor and BOP structures at Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) to determine the existence of potential pathways for contamination to reach the environment, and whether identified issues warranted designation as an Area of Concern (AOC).

PWGC researched, collected, and reviewed historical, public, and environmental records, building construction drawings, and available site-specific data, and conducted informal interviews with HFBR personnel. Potential issues, considered areas of interest (AOIs), were numerated and PA results documented to develop an investigative scope of work for the SI. PWGC prepared the project documents to conduct the investigation such as: Sampling & Analysis Plan, Health & Safety Plan, and Waste Management Plan.

In the PA, PWGC identified a total of 53 AOIs. This being a comprehensive review of available environmental reports and on-going investigations, 26 AOIs were eliminated from the scope since they were being investigated as part of other projects, leaving 27 AOIs for further investigation for which PWGC conducted radiological walk over surveys, surface/subsurface soil sampling, and groundwater sampling. Based on the SI data collected, PWGC integrated the results into the PA/SI Report; eliminating an additional 23 AOIs, and entered the remaining 4 into a tracking system pending future evaluation, since they could not be addressed due to their location. One AOI for the site was soil quality surrounding the spent fuel pool, suspected as a source of tritium groundwater contamination.

This required coring through a 5-foot thick, reinforced heavy concrete mat with embedded contaminated piping systems. PWGC implemented a specialized geophysical survey to locate rebar and piping systems. Six coring locations were chosen. Coring through the mat was conducted without an occurrence and soil and groundwater samples were collected. There was no significant source of groundwater contamination present under the building. Collectively PA/SI results were used to support decisions for end state alternatives for the HBFR and BOP structures.

HFBR Stabilization

Brookhaven National Lab’s HFBR Stabilization Project included preparing the HFBR confinement building (Building 750) for long-term safe storage and removing localized radiological contamination in areas immediately outside of Building 750. This project was performed in part with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and in accordance with Closeout Procedures at National Priority List Sites, OSWER Directive 9320.2-09A-P.

Activities included:

  • Modification of the ventilation exhaust system, security system and alarms
  • Installation of a water infiltration detection system with remote alarms
  • Modification of confinement building lighting and electric power distribution
  • Correction of minor confinement building deficiencies
  • Isolation and drain-down of mechanical systems and tanks
  • Removal of miscellaneous waste and combustible materials
  • Grading areas around the confinement building to improve storm water drainage
  • Modifications to access/entry points
  • Completion of a Final Status Survey and Independent Verification Surveys in areas immediately outside of Building 750

Value Engineering & Project Review for Radiological Contamination Cleanup

PWGC performed a detailed analysis of the project scope, schedule, and costs related to the cleanup of radiologically contaminated facilities and soils along the Columbia River at the US Department of Energy owned Hanford Reservation. PWGC engineers focused their efforts on validation of cost estimates for the D&D of contaminated facilities and site restoration and made improvements to the project schedule.

CD-1 Support for Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory

PWGC prepared project plans, cost estimates, and schedules related to the cleanup of radiologically contaminated buildings and soils at SPRU at the KAPL, located in Niskayuna, New York. The project plans, cost estimates, and schedules were required to provide the US Department of Energy with the necessary information to approve Critical Decision 1 (CD-1) for the remediation and D&D of contaminated structures.

Independent Project Review for Lawrence Livermore National Lab

PWGC was part of an independent project review (IPR) team responsible for evaluating the CD-0 (mission need) planning of a D&D project to remove an unused research building at LLNL. PWGC’s areas of responsibility primarily included the technical scope and the value engineering aspects of the review. Project documents were obtained and reviewed and key project personnel were interviewed. PWGC then participated in preparing a report presenting the findings of the review that included positive achievements, suggestions for improvement, recommendations and stated that the project was justifiable and the mission need was sound.

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