Nuclear Power

09 Nov 2020

Priority Demolition Completed at California Legacy Site

09 Nov 2020  by World Nuclear News   

The last of 10 buildings at the Radioactive Materials Handling Facility (RMHF) at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) in Ventura County, California have been demolished, accomplishing one of the US Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management's (EM) priorities for 2020.

Demolition work under way at Building 4022, the last of the ten RMHF buildings to be demolished (Image: EM)

ETEC, located at Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, served as a premier nuclear research facility from the 1950s. The RMHF buildings were constructed in 1959 and used for the processing, packaging, and shipment of radioactive and mixed hazardous wastes during site operations that ended in 1988. Removing these buildings reduces the potential risk of release of hazardous substances due to wildfires or erosion from severe storms, EM said.

ETEC Federal Project Director John Jones said the demolition had been carried out safely, and on time despite the "hurdle" of the COVID-19 pandemic. "A lot of painstaking preparation went into reaching this milestone," he said.

The former site of Building 4022 (Image: EM)

Operations to support nuclear programmes in Area IV began in 1956 and included the manufacture, disassembly and management of fuel for reactor operations, and the operation of nuclear waste management facilities for off-site disposal. All nuclear reactor operations in Area IV had ceased by 1980.

Eight DOE-owned structures now remain at ETEC. The Department of Energy has this week signed an amendment to a consent order with the State of California allowing the demolition of the remaining buildings.

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