As U.S. Marks Trinity Test’s 75th Anniversary, EM Continues Progress at Manhattan Project Sites; DOE Honors SRS Team With Excellence Award for Coal Ash Cleanup; and much more!

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EM Update | Vol. 12, Issue 17 | July 14, 2020


New Equipment Strengthens Environmental Monitoring at SRS


In this February 2020 photo, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Scientist Jason Walker, left, inspects a new portable air monitoring station, while SRNS Environmental Specialist Jesse Baxley records readings from one of several permanent units at the Savannah River Site.

AIKEN, S.C. – The EM program has added two portable units to its network of 14 permanent air monitoring stations at the Savannah River Site (SRS), helping extend the reach of its study of the atmosphere in and around the site.

“The geographical coverage and the data obtained by these air sampling stations is excellent,” said Jason Walker, a scientist with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the site’s management and operations contractor. “However, with the purchase of two portable sampling units we can significantly increase our options, placing these state-of-the-art portable units wherever needed to add to the versatility of our overall program.”

The SRS Radiological Environmental Monitoring Program monitors effects SRS has on the environment. There is one permanent air monitoring station onsite, 10 at the site perimeter, and three within population centers near SRS. Initially, each portable system will be temporarily located near a permanent station, then scientists will compare the data. The units will then be placed in storage where they can quickly be accessed and deployed as needed.

“This will enable us to make small adjustments to further improve the data received from each permanent station. A portable unit can also be used to temporarily collect data while a permanent unit is undergoing repairs,” Walker said.

“I believe our emergency management team and environmental monitoring group are the best at what they do in the DOE complex,” said Rick Sprague, senior vice president, environment, safety, health, and quality at SRNS. “We continue to pursue innovative solutions to further enhance our environmental and emergency management programs.”

-Contributor: DT Townsend

West Valley Advances Site Security, Safety With New Radios


Security Police Officer Garrey with Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services, a contractor to EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP), uses one of the site’s new radios to talk with other officers at WVDP.

WEST VALLEY, N.Y.EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) recently enhanced its security and safety by purchasing digital trunked radios that can assign frequency channels to various groups of users.

The new devices can communicate with all existing radios at WVDP, as well fire as departments, local and state police, and emergency medical services. WVDP programmed the new equipment to allow interaction with those emergency response organizations.

“Our old radios were more than 20 years old, and needed to be replaced,” said David Schuman, safeguards and security manager for CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, EM’s cleanup contractor at the site. “These new radios enhance our security posture and improve officer safety. Improving our ability to share and communicate information more accurately will help us to better handle any situation that may arise.”

The site’s old radios needed to be replaced when frequencies, groups, and users changed. The new radios will provide a cost savings because they can be reprogrammed instead of replaced to accommodate such changes.

The new devices will improve communications because they are capable of interoperability, which allows communication between WVDP and emergency responders across the U.S.

“We have learned a lot over the years about the need for interoperability when it comes to emergencies and communications,” Schuman said. “These new radios will have a positive impact for WVDP’s security force, as well as employees and visitors.”

-Contributor: Joseph Pillittere

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