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MSIPP Research Solicitation

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MSIPP – Research Areas

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) solicits expressions of interest from MSIs seeking financial assistance for applied research and related activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that support defined DOE-EM research and development needs.

The Office of Environmental Management MSIPP primarily supports competitive financial assistance for STEM activities at MSIs. This program covers applied research and related activities in STEM that support defined EM needs in Site Restoration and Tank Waste. Activities performed in collaboration with DOE laboratories are especially encouraged. The hub national laboratory for the MSIPP is SRNL. This program is managed by SRNL, which is operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS), at the Savannah River Site (SRS) for the Department of Energy.

The following program descriptions are offered to provide more in-depth information on STEM areas of interest to the Office of Environmental Management.  Specific areas of research interest are identified in each Sub-Program Priority Areas and Research Needs list.


Site Restoration
Program Website:

The mission of the Site Restoration program is to provide integration, planning and analysis for all soil and groundwater remediation, deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) and facility engineering.

The Site Restoration subprograms and their objectives follow:

Soil and Groundwater
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manages the largest groundwater and soil remediation effort in the world.  The inventory at the DOE sites includes 6.5 trillion liters of contaminated groundwater, an amount equal to about four times the daily U.S. water consumption, and 40 million cubic meters of soil and debris contaminated with radionuclides, metals, and organics.  At the large sites such as Hanford (Richland, WA), Savannah River (Aiken, SC), and Oak Ridge (Oak Ridge, TN), the Office of Soil and Groundwater Remediation has conducted research and demonstration projects to test new technologies and remediation approaches.  These initiatives are developing remediation alternatives ranging from active engineered systems to natural attenuation to address a variety of DOE-EM contaminants.  They are being integrated into a systems-based, risk-informed, remediation framework that is being applied across the DOE-EM complex.  

R&D can include characterization and monitoring; stabilization, remediation and processing; and modeling, visualization and analysis. The goal of research and technology development activities is to deliver approaches and technologies from highly leveraged and strategic investments that maximize the reduction of risk and life-cycle cleanup costs.

PA: Sub-Program Priority Areas, RN: Research Needs, C: Conditions

PA1: Attenuation Based Remedies for the Subsurface
RN1: R&D leading to solutions to address subsurface metal and radionuclide contamination and recalcitrant organics
C1: Research should complement or extend the work of the Attenuation Based Remedies (ABRS) for the Subsurface Applied Field Research Initiative (AFRI), located at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina for (

PA2: Deep Vadose Zone
RN2: R&D leading to improved characterization, remediation, monitoring, and prediction for the deep vadose zone
C2: Research should complement or extend the work of the Deep Vadose Zone AFRI, located on the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington (

PA3: Remediation of Mercury and Industrial Contaminants
RN3: R&D leading to the control of the flux of contaminants in soil and water environments
C3: Research should complement or extend the work of the Remediation of Mercury and Industrial Contaminants (ROMIC) AFRI, based at the Oak Ridge Reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that focuses on protecting surface water, groundwater, and ecological receptors (

Deactivation & Decommissioning
Deactivation and Decommissioning (D&D) is the process of taking an active/excess/abandoned facility to a final disposition end state.  Because of residual radioactivity, other hazardous constituents, and the physical condition of EM’s facilities, D&D presents unique hazards that must be addressed from a safety, programmatic, environmental, and technological standpoint.  The general D&D process applies to all facilities across the EM complex.  The D&D function with the Office of D&D and Facility Engineering focusses on innovative applications and timely insertion of existing commercially available technologies, processes and hardware to identify and address D&D risks and challenges.  The program supports the development of informed facility D&D strategy such as In-Situ Decommissioning, enhanced verifiability of the efficacy of D&D operations, increased productivity and personnel safety of D&D operation, facilitation of acceptable facility end-states, and independent verification.

PA1: Unique sensor networks for remote monitoring of entombed facilities and tanks
RN1: R&D leading to the development and deployment of these networks
C1: Research should extend techniques already developed at DOE labs

PA2: Interactions between radiological and chemical contaminants of concern to DOE (e.g. plutonium, cesium, mercury, etc.) and facility materials (e.g. concrete, steel, nickel, etc.)
RN2: R&D leading to a better scientific understanding of these interactions
C2: Scientific understanding should support the subsequent development of cost effective methods to
decontaminate facility materials

PA3: Incombustible fixatives and decontamination agents
RN3: R&D leading to the development of these fixatives and agents
C3: (None specified)

PA4: Acceptability of DeconGel and various contaminant mixtures

RN4: Testing protocols to demonstrate the acceptance
C4: Protocols should be applicable to various DOE facilities

PA5: Robotics and remote systems with plug-and-play interchangeable components
RN5: R&D leading to the development of these components
C5: Research should support component development with application in highly radioactive environments

PA6: Models for facility decommissioning
RN6: R&D leading to model development
C6: Research could include modeling of degradation and its effects on decommissioning scope and costs


Tank Waste
Program Website:

EM is dedicated to safely disposing of waste and seeks cost effective and environmentally responsible project execution methods.  EM offices that focus on waste management provide leadership in planning and executing EM programs for the storage, retrieval, pretreatment, treatment, and final preparation of nuclear materials for disposal and tank closure planning.

Tank Waste and Waste Processing
The Department has approximately 88 million gallons of liquid waste stored in underground tanks and approximately 4,000 cubic meters of solid waste derived from the liquids stored in bins. The current DOE estimated cost for retrieval, treatment and disposal of this waste exceeds $50 billion to be spent over several decades. The highly radioactive portion of this waste, located at the Hanford Site, Idaho National Laboratory, and Savannah River Site, must be treated, immobilized, and prepared for shipment to a waste repository. Efforts currently focus on improving pre-treatment to reduce the amount of waste that must be disposed, retrieval technologies, vitrification performance, and breakthrough immobilization technologies.

PA: Sub-Program Priority Areas, RN: Research Needs, C: Conditions

PA1: Current DOE tank waste and waste processing approaches
RN1: R&D leading to the development of technology improvements that address technology gaps or optimize the current DOE flow sheets
C1: Research should be in at least one of the following areas: Characterization of Physical and Chemical Properties; Improvement in Slurry Transport, Mixing, and Flammability Control; Refining the Separations Processes; and Optimizing Processing Facilities and Waste Forms

PA2: Alternative DOE tank waste processing options
RN2: R&D leading to addressing challenges to alternative processes, to eliminate the need for new massive facilities, to start waste treatment operations sooner, and to accelerate reduction of hazards from materials stored in tanks
C2: Research should be in at least one of the following areas: Development of Alternative Separations Methods and Deployment Strategies, Development of Alternative Waste Forms and Processes

PA3: Tank Management and Closure
RN3: R&D leading to improved tank integrity, and water intrusion detection and leak detection.  Closure objectives include achieving retrieval goals, developing protocols for residual waste characterization and immobilization, establishing barriers to release of constituents of interest, and development of closure materials
C3: Research should be in at least one of the following areas: Improvement in tank leak and intrusion detection and mitigation; improvement in in situ sampling, analysis, characterization, and
monitoring for tank closure; development of retrieval method alternatives (mechanical and chemical); and improvement in the technical basis for closure and performance assessments

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