The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to spend $4.5 million during the next three years to study groundwater contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation.
The reservation includes three federal sites—East Tennessee Technology Park, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Y-12 National Security Complex—that have been involved in missions ranging from scientific research to uranium enrichment to nuclear weapons work. That work has sometimes included the use of hazardous substances such as mercury and technetium-99, a slow-decaying radioactive metal.
The $4.5 million in funding will help implement a new groundwater strategy developed by DOE with help from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The strategy, which was presented to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board in November, will help guide future cleanup decisions, said Sue Cange, deputy manager for environmental management in DOE’s Oak Ridge Office. [Read more…]