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Title: Large-Scale Urban Decontamination; Developments, Historical Examples and Lessons Learned

Abstract

Recent terrorist threats and actual events have lead to a renewed interest in the technical field of large scale, urban environment decontamination. One of the driving forces for this interest is the real potential for the cleanup and removal of radioactive dispersal device (RDD or “dirty bomb”) residues. In response the U. S. Government has spent many millions of dollars investigating RDD contamination and novel decontamination methodologies. Interest in chemical and biological (CB) cleanup has also peaked with the threat of terrorist action like the anthrax attack at the Hart Senate Office Building and with catastrophic natural events such as Hurricane Katrina. The efficiency of cleanup response will be improved with these new developments and a better understanding of the “old reliable” methodologies. Perhaps the most interesting area of investigation for large area decontamination is that of the RDD. While primarily an economic and psychological weapon, the need to cleanup and return valuable or culturally significant resources to the public is nonetheless valid. Several private companies, universities and National Laboratories are currently developing novel RDD cleanup technologies. Because of its longstanding association with radioactive facilities, the U. S. Department of Energy National Laboratories are at the forefront in developing andmore » testing new RDD decontamination methods. However, such cleanup technologies are likely to be fairly task specific; while many different contamination mechanisms, substrate and environmental conditions will make actual application more complicated. Some major efforts have also been made to model potential contamination, to evaluate both old and new decontamination techniques and to assess their readiness for use. Non-radioactive, CB threats each have unique decontamination challenges and recent events have provided some examples. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as lead agency for these emergency cleanup responses, has a sound approach for decontamination decision-making that has been applied several times. The anthrax contamination at the U. S. Hart Senate Office Building and numerous U. S. Post Office facilities are examples of employing novel technical responses. Decontamination of the Hart Office building required development of a new approach for high level decontamination of biological contamination as well as techniques for evaluating the technology effectiveness. The World Trade Center destruction also demonstrated the need for, and successful implementation of, appropriate cleanup methodologies. There are a number of significant lessons that can be gained from a look at previous large scale cleanup projects. Too often we are quick to apply a costly “package and dispose” method when sound technological cleaning approaches are available. Understanding historical perspectives, advanced planning and constant technology improvement are essential to successful decontamination.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911958
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-06-11659
TRN: US200801%%404
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 07,Tucson, AZ,02/28/2007,03/02/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES/GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE STUDIES AND CLIMATE MITIGATION; CLEANING; CONTAMINATION; DECISION MAKING; DECONTAMINATION; DOLLARS; ECONOMICS; EFFICIENCY; IMPLEMENTATION; OFFICE BUILDINGS; PLANNING; REMOVAL; RESIDUES; SUBSTRATES; TESTING; US EPA; WASTE MANAGEMENT; cbrn; decontamination; dirty bomb; rdd; wmd

Citation Formats

Rick Demmer. Large-Scale Urban Decontamination; Developments, Historical Examples and Lessons Learned. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Rick Demmer. Large-Scale Urban Decontamination; Developments, Historical Examples and Lessons Learned. United States.
Rick Demmer. Thu . "Large-Scale Urban Decontamination; Developments, Historical Examples and Lessons Learned". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911958.
@article{osti_911958,
title = {Large-Scale Urban Decontamination; Developments, Historical Examples and Lessons Learned},
author = {Rick Demmer},
abstractNote = {Recent terrorist threats and actual events have lead to a renewed interest in the technical field of large scale, urban environment decontamination. One of the driving forces for this interest is the real potential for the cleanup and removal of radioactive dispersal device (RDD or “dirty bomb”) residues. In response the U. S. Government has spent many millions of dollars investigating RDD contamination and novel decontamination methodologies. Interest in chemical and biological (CB) cleanup has also peaked with the threat of terrorist action like the anthrax attack at the Hart Senate Office Building and with catastrophic natural events such as Hurricane Katrina. The efficiency of cleanup response will be improved with these new developments and a better understanding of the “old reliable” methodologies. Perhaps the most interesting area of investigation for large area decontamination is that of the RDD. While primarily an economic and psychological weapon, the need to cleanup and return valuable or culturally significant resources to the public is nonetheless valid. Several private companies, universities and National Laboratories are currently developing novel RDD cleanup technologies. Because of its longstanding association with radioactive facilities, the U. S. Department of Energy National Laboratories are at the forefront in developing and testing new RDD decontamination methods. However, such cleanup technologies are likely to be fairly task specific; while many different contamination mechanisms, substrate and environmental conditions will make actual application more complicated. Some major efforts have also been made to model potential contamination, to evaluate both old and new decontamination techniques and to assess their readiness for use. Non-radioactive, CB threats each have unique decontamination challenges and recent events have provided some examples. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as lead agency for these emergency cleanup responses, has a sound approach for decontamination decision-making that has been applied several times. The anthrax contamination at the U. S. Hart Senate Office Building and numerous U. S. Post Office facilities are examples of employing novel technical responses. Decontamination of the Hart Office building required development of a new approach for high level decontamination of biological contamination as well as techniques for evaluating the technology effectiveness. The World Trade Center destruction also demonstrated the need for, and successful implementation of, appropriate cleanup methodologies. There are a number of significant lessons that can be gained from a look at previous large scale cleanup projects. Too often we are quick to apply a costly “package and dispose” method when sound technological cleaning approaches are available. Understanding historical perspectives, advanced planning and constant technology improvement are essential to successful decontamination.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

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  • Recent terrorist threats and actions have lead to a renewed interest in the technical field of large scale, urban environment decontamination. One of the driving forces for this interest is the prospect for the cleanup and removal of radioactive dispersal device (RDD or 'dirty bomb') residues. In response, the United States Government has spent many millions of dollars investigating RDD contamination and novel decontamination methodologies. The efficiency of RDD cleanup response will be improved with these new developments and a better understanding of the 'old reliable' methodologies. While an RDD is primarily an economic and psychological weapon, the need tomore » cleanup and return valuable or culturally significant resources to the public is nonetheless valid. Several private companies, universities and National Laboratories are currently developing novel RDD cleanup technologies. Because of its longstanding association with radioactive facilities, the U. S. Department of Energy National Laboratories are at the forefront in developing and testing new RDD decontamination methods. However, such cleanup technologies are likely to be fairly task specific; while many different contamination mechanisms, substrate and environmental conditions will make actual application more complicated. Some major efforts have also been made to model potential contamination, to evaluate both old and new decontamination techniques and to assess their readiness for use. There are a number of significant lessons that can be gained from a look at previous large scale cleanup projects. Too often we are quick to apply a costly 'package and dispose' method when sound technological cleaning approaches are available. Understanding historical perspectives, advanced planning and constant technology improvement are essential to successful decontamination. (authors)« less
  • At the end of the 80's, the Belgian State ordered an inventory of the liabilities of the Belgian nuclear programme, to be fully or partially financed by them. ONDRAF/NIRAS (National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials) was entrusted with the management of the waste and the development of a programme for the clearance of the identified liabilities. One of these liabilities is the treatment and conditioning of some 200 m3 of widely varying high- and medium level waste. The gross volume of primary and secondary packages amounts to 2,600 m{sup 3}. As the waste is stored in vaultsmore » or in concrete shielding containers and no appropriate treating and conditioning facilities are in operation, the HRA/SOLARIUM project was launched. The bulk of these wastes, of which 95% are solids, the remainder consisting of mainly solidified liquids, have been produced between 1967 and 1988. They originate from various research programmes and reactor operation at the Belgian nuclear energy research centre SCK.CEN, isotope production, decontamination and dismantling operations. About 4,800 packages of various types are concerned and must be treated (standard steel barrels, special containers, shielded overpacks,... ); they contain medium-active wastes (solid or liquid), radium bearing or not, {beta}/{gamma} or {alpha}/{beta}/{gamma}, and special wastes (Al, spent resins, Na/Nak,...). The new HRA/SOLARIUM facilities, located on site 2 of Belgoprocess in Mol, have been commissioned in the 2. semester 2003. The paper describes the project itself and focuses on the lessons learned from first operation years. (authors)« less
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  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Technology Section has been performing Independent Verification (IV) activities for U.S. DOE sites since 1986. DOE has successfully used IV in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program, Decontamination and Decommissioning projects, and Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Projects/Surplus Facilities Management Program. Projects that have undergone IV range from small residential properties to large, industrial sites. The IV process provides a third-party review conducted by an independent organization. The purpose is to verify accuracy and completeness of contractor field measurements and final documentation, evaluate the credibility of procedures, and independently assess post-cleanup conditions versus decommissioningmore » project plans and release criteria. Document reviews of plans, dose models, procedures, and reports are some IV activities undertaken. Independent measurements are also collected during field visits to confirm the contractor`s findings. Corrective actions for discrepancies are suggested if necessary. Finally, archival and reporting of the final site environmental conditions for project closeout and certification are completed. The IV contractor reports to DOE headquarters and acts as a quality assurance feedback mechanism. An IV also provides additional assurance that projects are planned, carried out, and documented properly. Decommissioning projects benefit from the IV process by: (1) cost and time savings from early identification of potential problems, (2) assurance that cleanup meets regulatory guidelines, and (3) technical reviews and consultation with experts in field instrumentation, sampling strategy, etc. Some lessons learned from the IV process include avoiding: (1) improper survey techniques, (2) reporting data in units not comparable with guideline values, (3) premature release of surfaces, (4) poor decommissioning project planning, (5) misapplication of release guidelines. 20 refs.« less
  • Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) of radiologically and/or chemically contaminated facilities at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) are the responsibility of the Environmental Restoration (ER) Project. Facilities identified for D&D are listed in the Federal Facilities Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) and closed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act process. This paper discusses the NTS D&D program, including facilities history, D&D regulatory framework, and valuable lessons learned.