Recovery Blog

Guadalupe River Project Wraps Up

Posted in Agency News, Recovery Projects/Awards by on October 19, 2011

Photo by: USACE Sacramento District

Construction of a new railroad bridge funded by the Recovery Act in San Jose, California is almost complete. The new bridge will replace an older lower bridge that blocked floodwater and often caused the Guadalupe River to flood and is scheduled to be completed in November 2011.  This is the last piece of  a decades-long U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project to reduce flood risk for the city.

Visit the USACE Sacramento District Flickr page to view photos of the project’s progress as of October 5, 2011.

Photo of the Week – SRS P Reactor Sealing

Posted in Photo of the Week by on October 12, 2011
SRS P Reactor Sealing

Photo Contributed to the Flickr Group by Savannah River Site

Marc Sharpe, who was a senior reactor operator at P Reactor in the mid-1980s, carries a time capsule containing items that reveal Site and national current events into P Reactor. Dr. David Moody, U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operation Office Manager, is walking behind him.

With investments from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Energy and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, (SRNS) sealed the access to the historic P and R Reactors as part of footprint reduction and legacy cleanup at the Savannah River Site.

At P Reactor today, Dr. David Moody, DOE’s Savannah River Operations Office Manager and Marc Sharpe, a reactor operator at P Reactor in the 1980s, were the last people to exit the P Reactor before its final opening was welded shut.

“The Recovery Act enabled us to accomplish a remarkable feat,” Dr. Moody said. “In just two years we successfully and safely delivered a fitting end to these relics that led our nation to a Cold War victory. For that we are proud.”

“P and R Reactors have been instrumental to SRS’s history for nearly 60 years. The Recovery Act provided the means to showcase proven and emerging technologies and to use the talents of our dedicated workforce,” said Garry Flowers, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions president and chief executive officer. “Sealing access to P and R Reactors is perhaps the most visible milestone reached as work continues to complete closure of the P and R Area Operable Units, rendering the availability of both areas for future new missions.”

Inside the P Reactor’s opening, Dr. Moody and Mr. Sharpe placed a time capsule, about the size of a 5-gallon paint bucket, containing items that depict both the history of SRS, as well as items that show current events in the region and the nation.

In addition to the Record of Decision (ROD) issued by DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency (Region IV), and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control which initiated the reactor decommissioning project, other materials included a copy of People Magazine on the Royal Wedding and other news items.

During his 30-year career at SRS, Marc Sharpe, was a reactor operator at P Reactor. He sat in the “pot,” a term reactor operators used to describe the control room. In the late 80s, Mr. Sharpe helped with its shut down. And this morning, he walked away from the reactor he helped deactivate and decommission.

Recovery Act funds were used to deactivate and perform in situ, or in place, decommissioning of these two reactors. The underground areas and vessels of both reactors were grouted in place to 0-foot elevation with an estimated 260,000 cubic yards of concrete grout. The two structures are expected to stay in their present state for 1,400 years.

Notable projects that contributed to the closure of the P & R areas include: deactivation and decommissioning (D&D) of P and R Reactors; soil and groundwater remediation, building and operation of the Batch Plant Facility to produce the special concrete used in reactor grouting; and the remediation of P and R Area Ash basins, which received coal-fired power plant ash and waste during the operation of the reactors.

P Reactor boasted a record of never having a lost-time injury from the time it reached criticality in 1954 until it was shut down in 1988. R Reactor was the first fully functioning reactor at the Site. It became operational in 1953 and was shut down in 1964 when it was no longer needed for the nation’s defense.

To see more photos of Recovery projects or add your own photos, visit the Flickr Group.

Incentive Payments for Adoption and Use of Certified EHR Technology

Posted in Agency News by on October 4, 2011

HHS LogoThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that approximately $18 billion will be paid in incentive payments nationwide from 2011-2012 through the Recovery Act’s Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs. Healthcare professionals and hospitals who adopt and use certified EHR technology will be eligible to receive these funds.

The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT  has set up Regional Extension Centers across the country to help providers choose and adopt the certified EHR  best suited for their practices. These Regional Extension Centers have also received Recovery Act awards.

Read the full story about the effects of the EHR incentive funds on a small business in Arkansas by visiting the Health and Human Services website.  You can also view the list of certified EHR products and their vendors and developers here.

Photo of the Week – New Child Development Center

Posted in Photo of the Week by on September 28, 2011

Photo Contributed to the Flickr Group by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District

To honor the Month of the Military Child, the U.S. Army broke ground for a new $9.6 million child development center (CDC) April 16, 2010 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The 26,000 square-foot CDC facility, using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA funding, is designed to accommodate 232 children, ages six weeks to five-years-old.

To see more photos of Recovery projects or add your own photos, visit the Flickr Group.

Project Spotlight – U.S. Port of Entry at Forest City, Maine

Posted in Recovery Projects/Awards by on September 21, 2011

Recipient: Overland Corporation

Award Amount: $5,619,983

The recipient reported that these Recovery funds would be used for:

  • Design and construction of the new U.S. Port of Entry at Forest City, Maine
  • Construction of all facilities, site utilities, roadways, parking areas, and the infrastructure for the buildings
  • Demolition of the existing facility

Project Status: Less than 50% complete

To see how funds were distributed between the project’s prime and sub recipients and to learn more about the project, check out the Award Summary or enter your zip code to find Recovery projects near you.

Photo of the Week – Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation

Posted in Photo of the Week by on September 14, 2011
Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Photo contributed to the Flickr group by Flickr user GreenLoudoun

A portion of Loudoun County’s EECBG funds from ARRA were used to install 5 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the new Harmony Park & Ride lot in Hamilton, VA.

To see more photos of Recovery projects or add your own photos, visit the Flickr Group.

ARRA Funds Energy Efficiency Upgrades for West Virginia Courthouse

Posted in Agency News, Recovery Projects/Awards by on September 7, 2011

GSA LogoUsing Recovery funds, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently completed upgrades to improve energy efficiency at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia. The renovations included the installation of a new roof and 315 photovoltaic solar panels, upgrades to the parking garage, and adjustments to the heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Learn more about this project and read the full story by visiting the GSA website.

Photo of the Week – San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Posted in Photo of the Week by on August 31, 2011
San Luis Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos, CA

Photo Contributed to the Flickr Group by PremierSIPs

Funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the new environmentally friendly San Luis Wildlife Center will receive a new administrative headquarters and visitor center.

This will be on among the greenest and largest Fish & Wildlife service projects funded by ARRA and will seek LEED Platinum.

Architect: Catalyst Architecture
GC: West Coast Builders

To see more photos of Recovery projects or add your own photos, visit the Flickr Group.

Department of Energy Completes Five ARRA Projects

Posted in Agency News, Recovery Projects/Awards by on August 24, 2011

Department of Energy LogoThe Department of Energy’s Environmental Management program recently completed five ARRA-funded projects at the Oak Ridge site.

The projects included: expansion of 2 landfills at the Oak Ridge Reservation, a 385,000 cubic yard expansion of the Sanitary Landfill (a designated area for non-hazardous waste), and the addition of another disposal cell with a capacity of 465,000 cubic yards.  The expansion allows for the local disposal of waste generated by environmental cleanup initiatives, eliminating costly shipping expenses.

Pre-demolition and demolition projects at the East Tennessee Technology Park and the Y-12 National Security complex were also recently completed.

Read more about the completion of these Recovery Act projects on the Department of Energy’s website.

What Would You Do To Make Better?

Posted in, Vlogs by on August 22, 2011

Click to open videoWe take a look back at some of the changes we’ve made and extend an invitation for you to tell us what you think we should do next.