LLNL receives pollution prevention awards

Feb. 2, 2010

LLNL receives pollution prevention awards

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has received two Pollution Prevention Awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Environmental Stewardship Awards recognize two Laboratory projects: the Water Conservation Test Bed and the Ferrite Core and Power Conditioning Equipment Recovery Project. Lawrence Livermore is an NNSA national security laboratory.

Water Conservation Test Bed Project
The Water Conservation Test Bed Project was recognized in the awards’ Sustainable Design/Green Buildings category. The project is a rainwater harvesting system designed to capture rain runoff from the roof of one of the Laboratory’s cafeterias and reuse it when needed to irrigate surrounding landscaping. Between 90,000 and 210,000 gallons of rainwater falls on the roof of the cafeteria annually, depending on yearly variations. The project is part of an overall Laboratory effort to reduce the use of potable water.

Ferrite Core and Power Conditioning Equipment Recovery Project
The Ferrite Core and Power Conditioning Equipment Recovery Project won in the Waste/Pollution Prevention category. The project involved the reuse of equipment salvaged from a decommissioned electron accelerator scheduled for demolition at the Lab. First, 861 ferrite cores were removed from the accelerator, which was built in the 1980s to support Laboratory work for the nation’s Strategic Defense Initiative. The ferrite cores (a magnetic-ceramic material) are specialized components for accelerator applications. The cores will be reused in the Lab’s Beam Research Program, which is developing a new accelerator in support of NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship Program. Purchasing new cores would have cost the program an estimated $2,410,000.

In a second part of the project, power conditioning equipment from the old accelerator will be reused in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heavy Ion Fusion Program, saving that program more than the $750,000 it cost in 1986, when it was originally purchased.

Recovery of these materials from the old accelerator not only resulted in reducing costs and allowing research to proceed more expeditiously, but it also resulted in significant reductions in waste (approximately 90,000 pounds) that would have been generated during the final demolition of the accelerator facility.

“Two very different and vital research projects at two DOE research institutions benefitted from Livermore’s commitment to protecting the environment through waste minimization and pollution prevention,” said Steve Wuthrich, LLNL’s ES&H director

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (www.llnl.gov) is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.