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The US Department of Energy (DOE) manages the Nuclear Weapons Complex, a national network of research laboratories and production facilities. For 45 years, the Complex has supplied the US with nuclear materials for weapons and fuel. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and an accumulated excess of nuclear materials, production has dramatically decreased and the DOE is faced with the challenge of processing wastes and remediating environmental contamination at Complex facilities.
Spatial data technologies, particularly remote sensing systems, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), can aid in detecting, characterizing, and monitoring hazardous and radioactive wastes. This paper discusses the role of spatial data technologies in DOE's environmental mission and gives examples of their current application within the Complex. Specific barriers inhibiting the use of the technologies within the DOE are identified and proactive measures to address them are recommended. A principal recommendation is the development of a spatially explicit model for environmental data.
remediation, characterization, monitoring, remote sensing, spatial data, GIS, GPS
Manager, BDM Federal, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD
Special Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Development, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM-50), US Department of Energy, Washington, DC,
ManagerAssistant Secretary, US Department of Energy, Washington, DC,
Senior Research Scientist, Canada Center for Remote Sensing, Ottawa, Ontario