Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Environmental Restoration Program
An extensive environmental restoration (ER) effort is underway at Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge Operations. A number of cutting edge remediation technologies are being developed and used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists to effect the clean-up of areas surrounding Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is the DOE’s most complex site, both geographically and hydrologically. Over a period of 40 years, a diverse range of contaminants was disposed of by several methods including land burial, seepage pits and deep well injection. This has resulted in extensive contamination of soils, ground water, and surface water systems.
A variety of technologies are used by the ORNL staff to characterize and remediate disposal sites. Many of these technologies are unique, state-of-the-art processes developed by ORNL. Some of the technologies in development and use include the study of sub-surface flow conditions by spiking and tracing ground water flow; in-situ grouting to reduce surface-based geophysical characterization; in-situ vitrification (ISV); bioremediation; ground water age dating; a colloidal baroscope; an Ultrasonic Ranging and Data System; aerial geophysical surveys; and an in-situ process for treating VOCs in soil through soil mixing and vapor extraction.
The overriding consideration in ORNL's restoration technology development program is to devise and apply technologies that can provide data or remediate a site in-situ. This averts the need to excavate contaminated sites. Excavation can create problems and expenses related to worker exposure, environmental release, and waste disposal issues. The ORNL site restoration technology program will result in reduced remediation costs, reduced worker exposure and expedited clean up. In addition, the program is working on a wide variety of technology that is transferable to remediation applications across the U.S. and internationally.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.