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The 1.6 km-long building known as K25 took five years to demolish. Courtesy US DOE. A decades-long effort to clean and transform the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant in the US state of Tennessee is complete, resulting in the first-ever removal and remediation of a uranium enrichment complex.

Since cleanup operations began, hundreds of buildings measuring more have been demolished and more than 1.2 million cubic metres of waste –enough to fill up more than 500 Olympic-size swimming pools – have been disposed, including nearly 30,000 truckloads of soil.

This progress has paved the way for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management to transfer more than 500 hectares of land  at the facility, also known as the East Tennessee Technology Park, back to the community for economic development with another 40 hectares set aside for historic preservation.

In the 1940s, the Oak Ridge site produced enriched uranium to power the atomic weaponry that ended World War II.

Date: Friday, 16 October 2020
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US federal prosecutors on 22 September announced a settlement involving the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a Manhattan Project-era facility near Richland, Washington, and two companies that previously worked at the site.

Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2020
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Spent fuel stored in fuel pools at Hanford's K-East Basin. Courtesy US Government/Hanford. The US Department of Energy has given permission for Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPC Co) to proceed with a major cleanup contract at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.

The contract, valued at $10bn over 10 years, is for end state closure of facilities, waste burial sites, and groundwater remediation in the river corridor of the Hanford Reservation along the Columbia River.

The work will also include decommissioning and dismantlement of several legacy facilities on the Central Plateau of the Hanford Reservation. CPC Co will manage waste disposition activities for the on-site disposal facility as well as offsite disposal operations.

CPC Co is an Amentum-led joint venture with Atkins Nuclear Secured, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, and Fluor.

Date: Saturday, 19 September 2020
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Nuclear schedules have been hit, but sector is less volatile Only four new plants started construction in 2019, including Unit 2 at Hinkley Point in the UK.Photo courtesy EDF Energy. Investment in global energy will fall by $400bn this year, the biggest slump in the industry’s history, as the Covid-19 pandemic fuels a collapse in energy demand.

The International Energy Agency said in a report the unprecedented investment slump follows the most severe plunge in energy demand since the second world war.

The IEA said the decline in investment is “staggering in both its scale and swiftness” and will impact every major sector, from fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal to renewable sources including wind and solar power.

The IEA said the decline in investment in areas such as clean energy technology could undermine the transition to renewable, sustainable sources of energy.

Date: Thursday, 28 May 2020
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The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM – Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) said on 9 December that it had approved the safety report for dismantling and demolition of Ågestaverket, the Agesta nuclear plant, which operated between 1964 and 1974. The decision means that dismantling and demolition can now begin, but before any dismantling begins, the projects must be reported to SSM.

Date: Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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US Centrus Energy Corp (formerly known as USEC) announced on 2 October that it had been awarded a $15 million work authorisation by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) to prepare the K-1600 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for demolition. Centrus has leased K-1600 - the former K-25 site -  from the DOE since 2002 to test and demonstrate its uranium enrichment technology. The company has also been conducting centrifuge manufacturing, engineering and design at its own nearby Technology and Manufacturing Centre (TMC) in south Oak Ridge, at the former Boeing plant.

Date: Friday, 05 October 2018
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The US Army Corps of Engineers announced on 14 September that crews had deactivated the former USS Sturgis' nuclear reactor and had removed more than 680t of radioactive waste. 

Date: Monday, 01 October 2018
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US Department of Energy (DOE) contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) announced on 3 July that it had awarded a subcontract to AVANTech for its tank-side caesium removal demonstration project at the Hanford site, which is undergoing a major legacy cleanup programme. This is the third proposal to prepare radioactive waste from the Hanford tank farms for treatment before it is channelled to the plant. The aim is to separate caesium and solid materials from Hanford's underground tanks to provide a low-activity waste stream to the plant when it begins vitrification.  

Date: Friday, 06 July 2018
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The US administration is requesting $703m for the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) nuclear energy programme in fiscal year 2018, 28.7% or $283m below the $986m the programme received in fiscal 2016, according to a statement on 23 May 2017.

Date: Thursday, 25 May 2017
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The first facility for the retrieval of plutonium contaminated materials (PCM) at the UK's low level waste (LLW) Drigg repository in Cumbria has been safely demolished, according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It is one of five similar facilities remaining on the site.

Date: Thursday, 23 July 2015
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