DOE Releases Roadmap for Cold War Era Nuclear Waste Cleanup

The U.S. Department of Energy has recently released an Engineering and Technology Roadmap, which details initiatives aimed at reducing the technical risks and uncertainties associated with cleaning up Cold War era nuclear waste over the next ten years.

The roadmap also outlines strategies to minimize such risks and proposes how these strategies would be implemented, furthering DOE's goal of protecting the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production.

"The roadmap seeks to build on the department's previous successes in technological innovation, which have contributed greatly to the enhanced safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of our environmental management projects," said Jim Rispoli, DOE's assistant secretary for environmental management. "As we work to improve technologies and processes to safely dispose of Cold War era nuclear waste at sites across the country, this roadmap will serve to guide the development of an increasingly strong and responsive applied research and engineering program."

Specifically, the roadmap consists of thirteen strategic initiatives that address anticipated technical risks and uncertainties in the following six areas: waste processing; groundwater and soil remediation; deactivation, decommissioning, and facility engineering; spent nuclear fuel; challenging materials; and integration and cross-cutting initiatives.

DOE's National Laboratories, led by Savannah River National Laboratory, will spearhead the integration of these engineering and technology efforts.

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