New SRNL Agreement Expands Support for DOE Long-Term Stewardship

March 1, 2018

Memorandum of Understanding formalizes relationship among DOE environmental cleanup and long-term stewardship organizations and Savannah River National Laboratory 

AIKEN, S.C. (March 1, 2018) – Today, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formally establishing Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as the lead national laboratory providing technical support to DOE’s management of remediated cleanup sites around the United States. 

According to the agreement, the DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) will gain formal access to SRNL technical expertise and assistance. Since the mid-1990s, the lab has lent targeted assistance to address critical technical issues for LM, which provides management and surveillance of more than 90 sites in the former nuclear weapons complex where environmental cleanup has been completed. 

SRNL is the lead national laboratory supporting ongoing cleanup by the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) at former weapons sites and government-sponsored nuclear research facilities. The Memorandum of Understanding designates the laboratory as lead for DOE-LM as well. 

“This MOU facilitates SRNL an opportunity to provide technology for DOE’s Legacy Management office for their long-term environmental stewardship mission, with access to some of the best environmental scientists and engineers in the nation,” said DOE Under Secretary Paul Dabbar. 

Dabbar signed the agreement along with Carmelo Melendez, Director of DOE-LM; James Owendoff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of DOE-EM; Michael Budney, Manager of the Savannah River Operations Office; and Dr. Terry A. Michalske, Director of SRNL. 

“Expanded access to DOE national laboratory expertise will accelerate LM’s ability to assess and deploy technology and expertise to sustainably manage the use of legacy land and assets,” said Melendez. “We believe this collaboration will help LM reduce budget expenditures and improve our stakeholder confidence.” 

“Given the Savannah River National Laboratory’s role and experience in supporting the EM clean-up mission, it is a natural fit to be the lead national lab and entry point to help LM assess science, technology and its strategic needs,” Owendoff said. 

The Office of Legacy Management mission is sustainable, post-closure management of legacy sites where active remediation is complete, but where there is a need to ensure that sites remain protective, sometimes for thousands of years. Responsibilities include effective and efficient long-term surveillance and maintenance, operation of cleanup systems for surface and groundwater, and the management of land and assets by emphasizing safety, reuse, and disposition. For more: 

The Office of Environmental Management mission is the safe cleanup and closure of 107 contaminated nuclear weapons manufacturing and testing sites across the U.S., making it the largest environmental cleanup program in the world. To date, cleanup has been completed at 91 sites. For more: 

“The experience SRNL gains in supporting LM can also be applied to future EM efforts making this relationship beneficial to all,” Budney said. 

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is a multi-program national laboratory. SRNL puts science to work providing practical, cost-effective solutions for the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, energy and manufacturing challenges.

“SRNL developed many of the environmental remediation technologies implemented at cleanup sites across the DOE complex,” Michalske said. “This deep understanding makes SRNL well suited to monitor legacy sites to ensure long-term success.” 

(L-R) Dr. Terry A. Michalske, Director of Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Paul Dabbar, and Michael Budney, Manager of the Savannah River Operations Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing SRNL as the lead national laboratory providing technical support to remediated cleanup sites around the United States. 


Media contact: SRNL Media Relations