AIKEN, S.C. – DOE recently presented the 2018 Project Management Excellence Award to the EM Saltstone Disposal Unit (SDU) 6 Project team that completed construction on the mega-cell at a cost of about $118 million, more than $25 million below cost, and 18 months ahead of schedule.
DOE officials announced the award at its 2018 Project Management Workshop, where federal and contractor employees across the complex discussed projects with senior DOE leadership, reviewed best practices, shared lessons learned, and recognized excellence. DOE-Savannah River Deputy Federal Project Director Chuck Comeau received the award for the SDU 6 team.
The SDU 6 project also won the DOE Project of the Year Award for the Department’s EM sector in November 2017.
The team successfully designed and constructed SDU 6 to support the Savannah River Site (SRS) liquid waste program’s objective of managing and safely processing about 35 million gallons of radioactive waste from the site’s remaining 43 waste tanks. Completed in July 2017, SDU 6 is the site’s first mega-volume saltstone disposal unit for grouted low-level radioactive waste.
The SDUs are being constructed to accommodate the large stream of decontaminated salt solution from the Salt Waste Processing Facility, which is undergoing startup and commissioning activities to prepare for operations.
With an estimated 32.8-million-gallon capacity, SDU 6 is more than 10 times the size of the previous saltstone disposal units built at SRS. The SDU 6 cell is a reinforced concrete disposal unit 375 feet in diameter and 43 feet in height, and constructed with over 13,000 cubic yards of concrete. The cell is pre-stressed vertically and horizontally with 289 miles of 3/8 inch wire cable wrapped in seven layers.
The site projects SDU 6 will generate a lifecycle savings of over $500 million.
DOE commended the SDU 6 team for its outstanding accomplishment.