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Steam-cleaning method for soil knocks Visalia off Superfund list


Narrator:    This is Science Today. Technology developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was instrumental in cleaning up Southern California Edison's Visalia Pole Yard, which was on the EPA's Superfund list. Lab geophysicist Roger Aines says they used dynamic underground stripping, or DUS, a steam-cleaning technology, to clean the Superfund site 100 years sooner than originally estimated.

Aines:        The development we did here was to understand how to get these large volumes of earth hot. And it turns out to be very difficult to do. It's hard to pass that much energy through the Earth. The amount of energy we were using in Visalia was equivalent to two 747s at full throttle. The second thing though, is actually measuring where you've heated. At Visalia, the major thing that we were doing.

Narrator:    Beginning in 1997, the Lab also provided a lot of the physical and chemical monitoring at the site.

Aines:    So, what the laboratory did was provide that expertise on tracking how well the cleanup was proceeding.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.