Source: EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 5 | February 4, 2020


EM Senior Advisor Ike White delivers remarks to the annual conference of the Energy Communities Alliance.

EM plans a wide range of accomplishments in 2020, including some that have been years in the making and that promise to significantly advance the cleanup mission, EM Senior Advisor Ike White told a key stakeholder audience on Jan. 31.

In remarks to the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA), White said major liquid waste treatment facilities at the Savannah River and Idaho sites are expected to start operations, and the completion of construction supporting Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) treatment at Hanford puts that project only a short distance away from startup.

“This year will see a leap forward in our ability to tackle our largest and one of the most challenging environmental risks — tank waste — with the start of the Salt Waste Processing Facility at Savannah River and the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit at Idaho,” White said. “And at Hanford, we will complete construction and continue moving forward with commissioning on DFLAW. This puts the start of actual tank waste treatment at Hanford within reach in just a few years.

“Individually, these capabilities will ramp up our ability to tackle tank waste,” he said. “Collectively, they represent a fundamental shift for EM as we complete these long-running construction projects and focus on waste treatment operations.

“I’ve been part of the DOE enterprise for nearly three decades and I can’t recall the last time any part of DOE stood up such an impressive collection of operational capability in relatively short order,” he said.

White, senior advisor to the Under Secretary for Science overseeing EM, delivered his remarks to the annual conference of ECA, the organization of local governments adjacent to or impacted by DOE activities.

White told the stakeholders EM plans important progress at a number of cleanup sites, including:

White said the planned accomplishments not only will reduce environmental risks significantly but also demonstrate EM’s ability to maintain progress, strengthening the case for resources to continue the mission.

“Such results will continue to demonstrate that the government is able to fulfill its commitments to your communities that played such an important role in the security and prosperity of our entire country,” he told the audience.

“Not only will 2020 serve as a milestone year for EM and the Department, but I believe it will start off a decade of significant progress across the program,” White said. “I’m excited about what is to come, and what we will be able to achieve with the talented and dedicated men and women who work throughout the EM program, and the support of the communities we call home.”