New Improvements Help OREM Track Waste Nationwide

Unique maps will track trucks across the country and automatically enter data so they no longer have to do it manually.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Hazardous waste management and cleanup in the Oak Ridge Reservation, which includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex and East Tennessee Technology Park site, will benefit from further enhancements to automate waste tracking and disposal.

Oak Ridge Environmental Management Office (OREM) UCOR contractor said it is modernizing the process for handling all construction debris, industrial sanitary waste, and low-level radioactive and chemical waste. activity he is getting rid of by modernizing garbage trucks with radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking. hardware and software.

Trucks will be equipped with a unique map that tracks movement, recording important data as drivers move between Oak Ridge Federal Reserve cleanup sites to remove debris and contaminated waste.

UCOR said the RFID system will save time at disposal sites as waste management personnel will no longer have to spend time manually entering all of this data by hand.

“The new system dramatically reduces manual processes through automation,” said John Wrapp, waste management manager at UCOR.

Officials said the entire fleet of vehicles that transport waste to Oak Ridge Reservation landfills will be upgraded by the end of December.

Another upgrade added is a scale that can fit full-size semi-trucks. When RFID technology is paired with the scale, it can provide information such as weight directly to the OREM database. Then the RFID information is used to monitor which trucks are empty and loaded.

OREM and UCOR stepped up their clean-up efforts at Y-12, ORNL, and East Tennessee Technology Park, which was used to enrich uranium from the WWII Manhattan Project until 1985. The ETTP site was closed permanently in 1987 and 1989. The Ministry of Energy formed OREM to clean up the site so that it could be transformed into a private multi-use industrial park.

The main clean-up of the ETTP site was completed in 2020, which saw more than 500 demolished structures and areas of major soil contamination treated. It was the first time in the world that an entire uranium enrichment complex had been removed and remains the DOE’s largest environmental cleanup effort to date.

There is still work to be done, but the DOE predicts that the cleanup will continue until at least 2024 to address the remaining contamination of soil and groundwater. The government is also still in the process of transferring the land, part of which is used for conservation and historic preservation efforts.

Much of the debris and low-level radioactive soil from this clean-up has been disposed of in the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility since 2002, which UCOR said had approached the capacity of 2.2 million meters. cubes over the next decade and could not be made any further.

The DOE worked to create a new landfill for hazardous demolition debris and soil on the Oak Ridge reservation – called the Environmental Management Disposal Facility or EMDF – before it ran out of capacity. The DOE proposed to build it near the Bear Creek Valley area in Oak Ridge.

High-level radioactive waste is transported out of the area to the Nevada National Security Site.

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