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Audit Report: OAS-L-10-04

May 3, 2010

The Interim Treatment of Salt Waste at the Savannah River Site

On December 8, 2008, the Department of Energy (Department) named Savannah River Remediation, LLC (SRR) as the contractor to manage the radioactive liquid waste operations at the Savannah River Site (SRS). SRR was to take action to treat and dispose of waste stored in 49 underground storage tanks and operate and maintain the equipment and facilities that make up the liquid waste management system. The mission of the SRS Tank Farms is to receive, store, transfer and manage high-level radioactive liquid waste generated at SRS. Currently, approximately 36 million gallons of liquid radioactive waste are stored in the 49 underground tanks. The Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF), which is being designed and constructed by a different contractor, is a new SRS facility designed to utilize advanced technologies to treat the salt portion of the liquid radioactive waste inventory. This will allow the resulting waste streams to be disposed of through vitrification at the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) and by incorporation into grout at the Saltstone Processing Facility, both onsite facilities. However, recent documents show that the SWPF may not begin radioactive operations until December 2015.

Topic: Environmental Cleanup