New Technology at Piketon

By Frank Lewis -

An innovative data collection technology for environmental compliance sampling developed and used by the Savannah River Site (SRS) is now being deployed at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio to increase the efficiency of cleanup operations as Environmental Management (EM) continues to promote sharing lessons learned and new technologies across U.S. Department Of Energy sites.

The Environmental Compliance Sampling Collection Tool was developed by SRS management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) to provide electronic data management of environmental compliance monitoring and sampling locations. The new technology scraps the traditional pencil-and-paper method for data collection that had been used since the start of SRS environmental monitoring activities.

“This is exactly the kind of technological innovation we need from our sites,” EM Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto said. “The more we can take our successes at one site and build on them at other sites across the complex, the more efficient and effective the cleanup program will be.”

The Environmental Compliance Sampling Collection Tool is a hand-held tablet that allows for real-time data collection and sharing from sampling sites.

Chris Bergren, director of the SRNS Environmental Compliance and Area Completion Projects Division, likened the technology to a smartphone.

“This new tool is essentially a smartphone for environmental samplers,” Bergren said. “We no longer have to take notes and go back to desks to transfer data into systems. Now, we are able to upload information from our sampling sites, making the data available instantly. What’s more, we can print labels for samples from the device while in the field, greatly diminishing the risk of human error in logging samples.”

In a memo to the Department, EM Portsmouth Site Lead Joel Bradburne said deployment of the technology at Portsmouth is already making a difference in the environmental compliance efforts there. He credited Savannah River Operations Office Infrastructure and Environmental Stewardship Deputy Assistant Manager Angelia Holmes for her support in ensuring the technology is shared with other sites.

Bergren said he believes the tool, which was displayed at the 2014 Waste Management Conference, could benefit sites across the DOE complex in addition to the Portsmouth Site.

“This technology translates into value to the customer and taxpayer. Continuous improvement is an important element in remaining cost conscious and quality driven, and that is exactly what this technology provides to organizations that work in environmental compliance and stewardship,” Bergren said.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.