Workers construct an enclosure for Building H2 at the Separations Process Research Unit
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. – EM met a major regulatory milestone at the Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU) by completing construction of enclosures and ventilation systems required for cleanup.
The SPRU project at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory reached the milestone last week in a consent order between DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued pursuant to the Clean Air Act. The Department has now accomplished all the requirements of the consent order.
The order required the construction of enclosures and ventilation systems before workers could treat and dispose of tank sludge and demolish two facilities. Performing this work within the enclosures with the ventilation systems provides an added measure of protection to human health and the environment.
Built in the 1940s, the buildings supported the SPRU mission to research the chemical process to extract plutonium from irradiated materials. Although equipment was flushed and drained, and bulk waste was removed following the shutdown of the facilities in 1953, residual materials are present in the tanks, buildings H2 and G2 and interconnecting pipe tunnels.