RICHLAND, Wash. – Processes, systems and workers continue to come together as the Hanford Site draws closer to a monumental step in cleanup — treating and disposing of tank waste.
One example is the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF), where EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) is making significant progress preparing the landfill for disposal of waste, including containers of vitrified, or immobilized in glass, low-activity waste from the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP).
“The Integrated Disposal Facility is a key part of Hanford’s Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste Program, which is a step change in our capability to tackle tank waste,” said Gary Pyles, EM federal project manager. “As an engineered facility, IDF allows for safe and permanent disposal of low-level waste and mixed low-level waste produced during the waste-treatment process, while protecting the environment and the Columbia River.”
IDF consists of two expandable disposal cells totaling 1,345 feet wide, 2,151 feet long and 42 feet deep, with a disposal capacity of nearly 1.2 million cubic yards.
To protect groundwater under IDF, the disposal cells are lined and outfitted with systems to collect water from rain, snowmelt and dust suppression — known as leachate — that filters through the landfill.
This summer, crews are finishing upgrades to two 400,000-gallon storage tanks that will hold the leachate until it is sent to an onsite facility and treated to remove contaminants. Workers are also constructing a 120-by-140-foot concrete pad to temporarily store waste containers from WTP until they are cool enough to move them into IDF.
IDF is similar in design to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF) at the Hanford Site, but on a smaller scale.
Andy Drom, director for the CPCCo waste projects and operations organization, said his team will bring the experience gained at ERDF and a strong commitment to safe and efficient operations to IDF. ERDF has safely operated for more than 25 years and disposed of nearly 19 million tons of low-level waste from cleanup activities.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to the tank waste treatment mission and look forward to the successful transition to 24/7 operations,” said Drom.
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