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Title: Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site

Abstract

Natural remediation is a general term that includes any technology or strategy that takes advantage of natural processes to remediate a contaminated media to a condition that is protective of human health and the environment. Natural remediation techniques are often passive and minimally disruptive to the environment. They are generally implemented in conjunction with traditional remedial solutions for source control (i.e., capping, stabilization, removal, soil vapor extraction, etc.). Natural remediation techniques being employed at Savannah River Site (SRS) include enhanced bio-remediation, monitored natural attenuation, and phytoremediation. Enhanced bio-remediation involves making nutrients available and conditions favorable for microbial growth. With proper precautions and feeding, the naturally existing microbes flourish and consume the contaminants. Case studies of enhanced bio-remediation include surface soils contaminated with PCBs and pesticides, and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) contamination in both the vadose zone and groundwater. Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) has been selected as the preferred alternative for groundwater clean up at several SRS waste units. Successful implementation of MNA has been based on demonstration that sources have been controlled, groundwater modeling that indicates that plumes will not expand or reach surface water discharge points at levels that exceed regulatory limits, and continued monitoring. Phytoremediation is being successfullymore » utilized at several SRS waste units. Phytoremediation involves using plants and vegetation to uptake, break down, or manage contaminants in groundwater or soils. Case studies at SRS include managing groundwater plumes of tritium and VOCs with pine trees that are native to the area. Significant decreases in tritium discharge to a site stream have been realized in one phytoremediation project. Studies of other vegetation types, methods of application, and other target contaminants are underway.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bechtel Savannah River Inc., Savannah River Site P.O. Box 616, Aiken, SC (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
832991
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002; Other Information: PBD: 25 Feb 2002
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ATTENUATION; CONTAMINATION; IMPLEMENTATION; MONITORING; NUTRIENTS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; PESTICIDES; PINES; PLUMES; SURFACE WATERS; TRITIUM; VOLATILE MATTER; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTES

Citation Formats

Lewis, C. M., and Van Pelt, R. Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site. United States: N. p., 2002. Web.
Lewis, C. M., & Van Pelt, R. Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site. United States.
Lewis, C. M., and Van Pelt, R. 2002. "Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/832991.
@article{osti_832991,
title = {Natural Remediation at Savannah River Site},
author = {Lewis, C. M. and Van Pelt, R.},
abstractNote = {Natural remediation is a general term that includes any technology or strategy that takes advantage of natural processes to remediate a contaminated media to a condition that is protective of human health and the environment. Natural remediation techniques are often passive and minimally disruptive to the environment. They are generally implemented in conjunction with traditional remedial solutions for source control (i.e., capping, stabilization, removal, soil vapor extraction, etc.). Natural remediation techniques being employed at Savannah River Site (SRS) include enhanced bio-remediation, monitored natural attenuation, and phytoremediation. Enhanced bio-remediation involves making nutrients available and conditions favorable for microbial growth. With proper precautions and feeding, the naturally existing microbes flourish and consume the contaminants. Case studies of enhanced bio-remediation include surface soils contaminated with PCBs and pesticides, and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) contamination in both the vadose zone and groundwater. Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) has been selected as the preferred alternative for groundwater clean up at several SRS waste units. Successful implementation of MNA has been based on demonstration that sources have been controlled, groundwater modeling that indicates that plumes will not expand or reach surface water discharge points at levels that exceed regulatory limits, and continued monitoring. Phytoremediation is being successfully utilized at several SRS waste units. Phytoremediation involves using plants and vegetation to uptake, break down, or manage contaminants in groundwater or soils. Case studies at SRS include managing groundwater plumes of tritium and VOCs with pine trees that are native to the area. Significant decreases in tritium discharge to a site stream have been realized in one phytoremediation project. Studies of other vegetation types, methods of application, and other target contaminants are underway.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2002,
month = 2
}

Conference:
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  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements for hazardous waste facilities include 30 years of post-closure monitoring. The use of an objective-based monitoring strategy allows for a significant reduction in the amount of groundwater monitoring required, as the groundwater remediation transitions from an active biosparging system to monitored natural attenuation. The lifecycle of groundwater activities at the landfill has progressed from detection monitoring and plume characterization, to active groundwater remediation, and now to monitored natural attenuation and postclosure monitoring. Thus, the objectives of the groundwater monitoring have changed accordingly. Characterization monitoring evaluated what biogeochemical natural attenuation processes were occurring andmore » determined that elevated levels of radium were naturally occurring. Process monitoring of the biosparging system required comprehensive sampling network up- and down-gradient of the horizontal wells to verify its effectiveness. Currently, the scope of monitoring and reporting can be significantly reduced as the objective is to demonstrate that the alternate concentration limits (ACL) are being met at the point of compliance wells and the maximum contaminant level (MCL) is being met at the surface water point of exposure. The proposed reduction is estimated to save about $2M over the course of the remaining 25 years of postclosure monitoring.« less
  • Utilizing funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Liquid Waste Program at Savannah River site successfully executed forty-one design, procurement, construction, and operating activities in the period from September 2009 through December 2011. Project Management of the program included noteworthy practices involving safety, integrated project teams, communication, and cost, schedule and risk management. Significant upgrades to plant capacity, progress toward waste tank closure and procurement of needed infrastructure were accomplished. Over 1.5 million hours were worked without a single lost work day case. Lessons Learned were continually identified and applied to enhance the program. Investment ofmore » Recovery Act monies into the Liquid Waste Program has ensured continued success in the disposition of radioactive wastes and the closure of high level waste tanks at SRS. The funding of a portion of the Liquid Waste Program at SRS by ARRA was a major success. Significant upgrades to plant capacity, progress toward waste tank closure and procurement of needed infrastructure was accomplished. Integrated Project Teams ensured quality products and services were provided to the Operations customers. Over 1.5 million hours were worked without a single lost work day case. Lessons Learned were continually reviewed and reapplied to enhance the program. Investment of Recovery Act monies into the Liquid Waste Program has ensured continued success in the disposition of radioactive wastes and the closure of high level waste tanks at SRS. (authors)« less
  • This paper describes the cost-effective efforts and the Radiological Operations Support Center to provide innovative means and measures to remediate/decontaminate and decommission various areas across the Savannah River Site.
  • This paper discusses the Savannah River Site Accelerated Transuranic (TRU) Waste Project that was initiated in April of 2009 to accelerate the disposition of remaining legacy transuranic waste at the site. An overview of the project execution strategy that was implemented is discussed along with the lessons learned, challenges and improvements to date associated with waste characterization, facility modifications, startup planning, and remediation activities. The legacy waste was generated from approximately 1970 through 1990 and originated both on site as well as at multiple US Department of Energy sites. Approximately two thirds of the waste was previously dispositioned from 2006more » to 2008, with the remaining one third being the more hazardous waste due to its activity (curie content) and the plutonium isotope Pu-238 quantities in the waste. The project strategy is a phased approach beginning with the lower activity waste in existing facilities while upgrades are made to support remediation of the higher activity waste. Five waste remediation process lines will be used to support the full remediation efforts which involve receipt of the legacy waste container, removal of prohibited items, venting of containers, and resizing of contents to fit into current approved waste shipping containers. Modifications have been minimized to the extent possible to meet the accelerated goals and involve limited upgrades to address life safety requirements, radiological containment needs, and handling equipment for the larger waste containers. Upgrades are also in progress for implementation of the TRUPACT III for the shipment of Standard Large Boxes to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the US TRU waste repository. The use of this larger shipping container is necessary for approximately 20% of the waste by volume due to limited size reduction capability. To date, approximately 25% of the waste has been dispositioned, and several improvements have been made to the overall processing plan as well as facility processing rates. These lessons learned, challenges, and improvements will be discussed to aid other sites in their efforts to conduct similar activities.« less