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Open air demolition completed at West Valley Demonstration Project nuclear facility

DOWN IT COMES — The final load of demolition debris was removed from the 01-14 building, in May.
SPRINGVILLE — CH2M HILL Babcock and Wilcox West Valley LLC completed the demolition of a four-story nuclear facility at the West Valley Demonstration Project in May.

The leveling of the 01-14 building was the largest and most complex demolition of the radioactively contaminated facility at the WVDP, so far, in the site’s history.

The building, a four-story concrete and steel-framed building, was built in 1971 by the former site operator, Nuclear Fuel Services Inc., to support its commercial nuclear reactor fuel reprocessing business.

NFS terminated operations at the West Valley facility in 1972 and the 01-14 building was never put into service, for its designed purpose. The building was instead converted to support vitrification of the waste that was produced by NFS. It also housed equipment that was used to solidify waste liquids that contained low levels of radioactivity, which were then shipped out of state for disposal, after solidification.

CHBWV President Dan Coyne said, “The CH2M HILL B&W West Valley workforce was deliberate in the planning and execution of the work, resulting in the safe, compliant demolition of the 01-14 building. Every effort was made to protect the workforce and the environment.”

Department of Energy Deputy Director Craig Rieman called the demolition and removal of this building “an important accomplishment, in the progress to decommission the WVDP.”

In 2011, final closure activities began, including removing hazardous components, isolating and removing facility systems and decontaminating the structure, to allow for open-air demolition. These activities were completed in December 2012, allowing the CHBWV to initiate final demolition of the facility.

Demolition was accomplished in partnership with American DND, a business headquartered in Cattaraugus County.

Safety professionals provided monitoring and sampling, during the demolition process, which was completed in five months, resulting in no recorded injuries, radiological releases or environmental issues.

Workers sprayed water onto the structure as it was being demolished, to keep dust from becoming airborne. Excess water was collected, transferred to holding tanks and sampled, prior to its discharge, through an on-site wastewater treatment process.

Sixteen air monitoring stations were set up, at the perimeter of the West Valley Demonstration Site border, to monitor for any contamination release, outside the site boundary. Eight air samplers surrounded the demolition site. Four were placed inside adjacent facilities and a breathing zone monitor was put on the operator of the demolition equipment.

Work site air and perimeter air samples were below regulatory limits and compliant with the requirements in the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants and the occupational radiation protection regulations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency inspected and provided regulatory oversight.

The completion of this project was accomplished, through partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the United States Department of Energy, CHBWV, state and federal regulators and stakeholders.

The site conducted biannual regulatory roundtable meetings, monthly calls with the EPA and the New York Department of Conservation and on-site meetings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. CHBWV also hosts monthly citizen task force meetings and quarterly public meetings.

As of June 4, CHBWV shipped 38 truckloads of non-contaminated construction debris from the 01-14 building demolition to industrial waste landfills in Pennsylvania and Ohio. In addition, 62 truckloads of radioactive waste were shipped to Pennsylvania, where it was transferred to railcars and shipped by rail for disposal at a radioactive waste facility in Utah.

The WVDP is located at 10282 Rock Springs Road in West Valley. Visit


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2013-07-26 | 14:47:40
Misleading Title
Sorry folks but I live and worked @ WVES and this article's title is SO misleading. People think that this place is closed and your writing style is doing our community no favors. Open Air Construction will be going on for decades. Very disappointed