When DOE declares a facility as surplus (no longer needed) it is shut down and prepared for decontamination and decommissioning, or D&D. The decontamination and decommissioning process is the safe decontamination, dismantling, removal of contamination and structures, and/or the release for reuse of facilities that are no longer active. DOE conducts D&D activities on reactors, processing plants, storage tanks, laboratory facilities, and other structures.
Assessment determines the extent of hazards and the type and nature of contamination. Chemical and radiological sensors, as well as robotic samplers, are used for facility characterizations and to help select the appropriate cleanup techniques. An environmental review confirms compliance with approved health and safety standards and applicable laws. When all hazardous material has been removed, facilities that are not dismantled can be used for other activities or held for long-term monitoring.
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