Rationale

Advice on Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Road Map: Gaps and Bridges, 2009 cover imageAccording to the January 2009 Report to Congress on the Status of Environmental Management Initiatives to Accelerate the Reduction of Environmental Risks and Challenges Posed by the Legacy of the Cold War [USDOE, 2009], “the biggest challenges EM faces are those that have few precedents and fewer off-the-shelf technologies and processes to address them”. DOE-EM has set an internal challenge to minimize environment, safety, and health risks across the complex in a safe, secure, compliant, and cost-effective manner.

In their review of the DOE EM Office of Engineering and Technology roadmap, the National Academy of Sciences (Advice on Department of Energy’s Cleanup Technology Road Map: Gaps and Bridges, 2009) predicted that as EM addresses cleanup of more difficult sites, it will need continued scientific investments to understand the release, fate and transport of contaminants in the subsurface. Many of the remaining waste sites are challenging because of the complexity and coupled nature of controlling hydrological, biological and geochemical processes and the wide range of scales over which they operate (Figure 1).

An illustration of the heterogeneous geochemical, hydrological and hydrobiological processes ASCEM is being developed to address

Figure 1. An illustration of the heterogeneous geochemical, hydrological and hydrobiological processes ASCEM is being developed to address.