AIKEN, S.C. – Members of the Savannah River Site (SRS) Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) project team received Secretary of Energy Appreciation Awards for completing the last major piece of the liquid waste treatment system at SRS.
Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes presented the awards as part of a visit to SRS and the Savannah River National Laboratory on Dec. 4.
“I am pleased to present the Secretary of Energy Appreciation Awards to the SWPF project team at the Savannah River Site,” Menezes said. “One of the many groundbreaking accomplishments taking place at the SRS is the startup of the SWPF. This facility is a leap forward in the Department of Energy’s ability to tackle legacy nuclear tank waste, one of the largest and most challenging environmental risks.”
SWPF Federal Project Director Pam Marks received the Secretary’s Appreciation Award for Management Excellence in recognition of her superior performance, leadership, resilience, and tenacity. This award was created to recognize employees who demonstrate a sustained commitment to management excellence by putting the Department’s management principles into action daily.
The SWPF Integrated Project Team (IPT) also received a Secretary's Appreciation Award for superior performance toward obtaining approval for Critical Decision-4, Start of Operations or project completion for the SWPF. This award is given to employees or contractors for making a noteworthy contribution to DOE beyond the scope of their normal work responsibilities.
“The IPT successfully implemented innovative technical solutions to maintain schedule milestones and control project costs,” the award commendation states.
The SWPF will process the majority of the site’s salt waste inventory by separating the highly radioactive constituents for treatment via vitrification, from the predominately low-radioactive, large-volume salts that will be treated for disposal onsite. Removing salt waste, which fills over 90 percent of tank space in the SRS tank farms, is a major step toward emptying and closing the site’s remaining 43 high-level waste tanks.
The first batch of radioactive waste was transferred to SWPF on Oct. 5, beginning “hot” commissioning of the facility. In the first month of operation, the SWPF processed nearly 86,000 gallons of waste.