Argonne National Laboratory
Decontamination & Decommissioning
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
Nuclear Engineering is a Division of Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory managed by The University of Chicago

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Decommissioning Projects

Experimental Boiling Water Reactor (EBWR)

Current status of the project: The project was completed in February 1996.

Experimental Boiling Water Reactor (EBWR)The decontamination and decommissioning of the Experimental Boiling Water Reactor (EBWR) at Argonne National Laboratory was completed in February 1996.

After the confirmation survey, the EBWR facility was released as a "Radiologically Controlled Area" noting residual elevated activity remains in accessible areas. However, exposure levels in accessible areas are at background levels. Personnel working in accessible areas do not need Radiation Work Permits, radiation monitors, or other radiological controls. Planned use for the containment structure is as an interim transuranic waste storage facility (after conversion).

Argonne has decontaminated and decommissioned all accessible areas at the EBWR Facility to radiological background levels. The project consisted of decontaminating and/or packaging as radioactive waste, the reactor vessel and internals, contaminated piping systems, miscellaneous tanks, pumps, and associated equipment.
D&D work involved:

  • dismantling process equipment and associated plumbing, ductwork, drain lines, etc.;
  • size reduction of reactor vessel internals;
  • and packaging and properly documenting all radioactive waste, including shipment and disposal.

A thorough survey of the facility was made after the removal of activated and contaminated material. Nonradioactive waste of little scrap value was disposed of in the Argonne landfill. Project plans divided the D&D project work into phases I to IV. Argonne personnel completed Phases I and II. A subcontractor performed Phases III and IV under Argonne management. The subcontractor conducted the final survey and Argonne performed the verification survey.

The total project duration was 118 months. Phase I was initiated in April 1986 and the final report was issued in February 1996. The total exposure to project personnel was 208.7 person-mSv (20.87 person-rem) with no individual exceeding the EBWR D&D project limit of 15 mSV (1.5 rem). The total cost of the EBWR D&D project, including labor, management, and waste disposal, was $19,586,000. A total of 360,205 kg (792,452 lb) of radioactive waste, including liners, was packaged for off-site disposal at a low level radioactive waste repository. The total activity of the waste was 24,789 GBq (670.23 Ci). Additionally, 26,829 kg (59,023 lb) of mixed waste, including liners, with a total activity of 3,171 MBq (85.7 mCi) was packaged for disposal. In January 1996, the EBWR facility was formally decommissioned and transferred from EM-40 to EM-30.

More information

For more information on this project, please contact
Visit the EBWR Decommissioning Project Photo Gallery

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Contact person

Chris Grandy
POC for D&D Operations
Dept. Manager, Engineering Development and Applications Dept.
Argonne National Laboratory
Phone: +1 630-252-9135
Fax:   +1 630-252-7577

ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Nuclear Engineering Division, Decontamination & Decommissioning
9700 South Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439-4814
A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC

Last modified on October 30, 2006 3:55 PM