Waste Management at Portsmouth
The Department of Energy’s waste management responsibilities include identifying and disposing of waste stored and generated on-site in a manner protective of human health and the environment, in compliance with regulatory laws and other requirements. The Portsmouth Site Waste Management Program directs the safe storage, treatment, and disposal of waste generated from the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of facilities that are no longer in use, past plant operations, ongoing plant maintenance, and ongoing environmental restoration projects.
The volume of waste produced by the demolition of the Portsmouth facilities is estimated to be 1.47 million cubic yards. These will include more than 1.3 million cubic yards from the Process Buildings and Complex Facilities D&D Evaluation Project, as well as volumes of waste generated from earlier, smaller D&D decisions (approximately 170,000 cubic yards). Of this total 1.47 million cubic yards, DOE has identified up to 110,000 cubic yards of materials that are candidates for recycling and/or reuse. DOE is continually looking for ways to treat waste and reduce the amount of waste to be disposed and/or increase the volume that can be recycled and/or reused.
The Portsmouth Site-Wide Waste Disposition Record of Decision (ROD) identifies the selected alternative for disposing of waste from the demolition of the PORTS plant facilities. The ROD was approved by DOE and concurred with by Ohio EPA in June 2015 following a formal, four-month public comment period. DOE’s remedy for waste disposition at Portsmouth is a combination of on-site and off-site disposal. DOE’s objective with this approach is to manage the waste in a safe, efficient manner in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Off-Site Waste Disposal
While the bulk of demolition from the X-326 building will remain at the Portsmouth Site in the state-of-the-art engineered On-Site Waste Disposal Facility, more than 99 percent of all actual radioactivity has been shipped off-site to licensed facilities out of state.
On Site Waste Disposal Facility (OSWDF)
The OSWDF is a specially engineered disposal facility with
a multi-layer liner and cap system on competent bedrock
designed to consolidate and contain demolition debris and
soil into one centralized disposal area that protects public
health and the environment.
The OSWDF can accommodate more than 5M cubic
yards of waste and engineered fill from building demolition,
soil remediation, and consolidation of the existing
on-site landfills and groundwater plumes.
The final impacted material disposal area footprint will occupy about 100 acres in the northeast portion of the DOE reservation. This area of the DOE reservation also offers geological conditions that will provide the most protection to human health and the environment.
The OSWDF will be constructed to meet strict environmental
laws that are regulated by the Ohio Environmental Protection
Agency (OEPA) as well as DOE’s own orders to protect human
health and the environment. The design is proven safe from
similar successful operating or closed on-site disposal facilities at other DOE sites in the United States.
Waste Acceptance Criteria
All demolition debris and waste materials must meet
the strict requirements of Ohio and U.S. environmental
laws before it can be placed into the On Site Waste
Disposal Facility (OSWDF). This set of requirements is
called the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC). The WAC
is a strict and systematic approach for choosing the
right types of waste and right disposal methods to
protect the public, environment and wildlife.
What may be placed in the OSWDF?
What is Prohibited from the OSWDF?
OSWDF Water Treatment/ Leachate System
The Modular Leachate Treatment System (MLTS)
is situated near the corner of North Access and
Perimeter roads, south of the OSWDF. It serves
as a water treatment facility for the Onsite Waste
Disposal Facility (OSWDF) and to treat Leachate –
water that will leach from the OSWDF over time as
part of its designed safety.
The facility includes several support structures such
as the storage, equalization and clarifier tanks, an air
vapor treatment building and a temporary fabric-
tension structure. The MLTS consists of several
components to treat water, such as ion-exchange
vessels, activated carbon vessels and a filter-press
to remove contaminants so the water meets Ohio
EPA standards before it is discharged through a