Environmental Management R&D for HEPA Filters, High-Level Tank Waste Mixing & Sampling

EM R&D provides necessary investments in mid to long range research projects to address radioactive waste treatment and storage safety.

These R&D projects are targeted at high priority technical issues, gaps, operations, or concerns to clean up the Nation s legacy of defense-related
radioactive wastes.

The technologies developed in this R&D program will identify or improve the current waste treatment baseline, develop new or augmented cost-effective technologies or methods, provide advanced technologies/ methods for insertion into new or existing waste treatment facilities/ infrastructures, address known technology gaps, and reduce project technical risk and uncertainty.

This meets the Departmental goal to accelerate waste treatment, clean-up, and provide risk reduction to the public.

For example, R&D for HEPA filters is needed to improve the performance of currently available HEPA filters in upset conditions (e.g.


In addition, R&D into HEPA filters under various normal and upset test conditions will help determine valuable operational information (i.e., develop suggested controls and operational methods, and identify failure modes) that can be applied at various commercial and Government facilities that treat, store, or process nuclear material or waste streams (e.g.

commercial nuclear power facilities).

This research will increase the protective nature of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) AG 1 Code (Code on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment), enhance the ability of professionals to design filters and air filtration systems, and reduce uncertainty in the development of standard operating procedures for facilities involved in nuclear containment ventilation activities.

Improving the durability of HEPA filters used in nuclear containment is a key component in protecting the general population in the event of a fire at a nuclear facility, particularly segments of the population near nuclear facilities.

Agency - Department of Energy

The Department of Energy's goal is to advance national, economic and energy security in the U.S.; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that goal; and to ensure environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.

Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2012: Activities conducted during 2012 include examination of ribbon separated HEPA filters and development of an AG-1 Section FI test stand. A loading curve was generated. The most penetrating particle size during this loading period was also measured. After being loaded each filter was challenged with elevated temperature and relative humidity up to 50" water column or rupture. The ribbon separated Vokes filter testing was completed. Fiscal Year 2013: Plan to start R&D on design basis events and fire failure tests on commercial HEPA filters to identify operational capabilities, failure mechanisms, profiles, and load limits. Testing results will provide increased safety margins for various commercial and Government facilities and sites in the U.S. and in other countries that manage, store, or treat radioactive waste streams e.g. commercial nuclear power facilities. R&D will also improve understanding of HEPA filter operation. Additionally, test results may provide an opportunity to update sections of the ASME AG-1 code, if test findings merit revision. Contingent on available funding, may begin preliminary studies of nuclear waste material properties and their impact on mixing/blending and transport processes and technologies. Fiscal Year 2014: Continue FY 13 R&D testing to completion.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Financial assistance is provided in support of the program objectives.

Applicants must meet the guidelines established by DOE.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

A publicly owned agency or organization established to perform specialized functions or services for the benefit of all or part of the general public either without charge or at cost, making no profits and having no shareholders to receive dividends.

Includes institutions of higher education and hospitals.

Determinations are made by DOE EM Headquarters or EM Field Offices, or both.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The following organizations will significant benefit from improved and safer advanced HEPA filters: Federal/ State radioactive treatment and/or storage facilities, commercial nuclear power industry, workers in a radioactive environment, and the general public, particularly landowners or homeowners in proximity to radioactive facilities. Indirect benefits include more accurate known and understood HEPA filter failure mechanisms and limits, margins, and operational constraints, especially in emergency situations such as fire or a seismic event. Indirect benefits include deceased operating costs, and potentially improvements to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) AG-1, the US national consensus standard for nuclear air handling and treatment systems.


Cost will also be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for institutions of higher education or as otherwise defined in the financial assistance instrument. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87. . This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. A formal proposal by the organization interested doing the work must be submitted through an appropriate official of the corporate entity, organization, or institution. Financial assistance requests will be reviewed pursuant to the Department of Energy Financial Assistance Regulations at 10 CFR 600 and the DOE Merit Review Guide, as amended.

Award Procedures

Award decision will be made by DOE Headquarters.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


The activity conducted under this award is authorized pursuant to: The Department of Energy Act, Public Law 95-91, 42 U.S.C. 7256, in conjunction with 42 U.S.C. 7112.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The approximate approval/disapproval time is from two months to one year.




From 120 to 180 days. From 120 to 180 days. Proposal for renewal are subject to review and acceptance by DOE Headquarters, the field, or both.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Length and time phasing of assistance will vary with the program phase and activity. Method of awards/ releasing assistance: awards will be incrementally funded. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Awards will be incrementally funded.

Post Assistance Requirements


Yes, periodic program and progress reports are required per the Reporting Requirements Checklist attached to the award.

No cash reports are required.

At a minimum, annual progress reports are required.

Frequency of progress reports will be determined at time of award.

Expenditure reports will be required.

The type and frequency will be determined at time of award.

Performance monitoring will be required.

The type and frequency will be determined at time of award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Audits will be conducted annually or as defined by the size of and the specific award provisions.


Retention of records will be required in accordance with 10 CFR 600. A grantee is expected to maintain auditable records to substantiate the total costs under the Cooperative Agreement. The grantee is also expected to keep and maintain applicable American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 (NQA-1) and other quality assurance testing and results records as needed.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 12 Not Available; FY 13 est $731,000; and FY 14 est $1,000,000 - subject to funds availability.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Dr. John R. Shultz 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, Maryland 20874 Email: john.shultz@hq.doe.gov Phone: 3019032422

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Research must be beneficial to the overall accomplishment of the program objectives and consistent with the criteria of the EM Merit Review System (i.e., technically meritorious, qualified principal investigators, adequate facilities for conduct of the work, past experience and performance history).

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