AIKEN, S.C. – With EM’s liquid waste operations at Savannah River Site (SRS) relying heavily on the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF), a team successfully transitioned the facility’s computers, software and security systems into the SRS network earlier this month, without interrupting production.
SRS liquid waste contractor Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) has operated SWPF since March 2022, when management was transferred from Parsons Corporation, which built the facility and operated it for the first year.
SWPF is the key facility at SRS for processing about 90% of the liquid radioactive waste stored in the remaining 43 underground waste tanks at SRS. The facility is processing greater volumes of waste than ever before. In slightly more than two years of operation, SWPF has processed nearly 5 million gallons of salt waste.
Under its agreement with EM, Parsons built the SWPF Information Technology (IT) applications on its network. The company provided those applications to SRMC while SRMC operated the facility for the past year. All essential systems, including laboratory functions handling sample analyses, continued to function fully as the transition was underway.
In August, SRMC began the planning effort to transfer the IT functions into the SRS network. SRMC Programs Integration Manager Keith Harp assembled a group of IT experts to create a plan to meet the March 2023 deadline for total transfer of systems to the SRS network.
“Our goal was to fully integrate SWPF, from an IT perspective, into the overall liquid waste system,” Harp said. “We could not have been successful without the significant level of support we’ve received from team representatives from both companies.”
The demanding task involved approximately 500 different pieces of equipment, including network switches, routers, sensors, network jacks, end-user computer equipment, cabinets and enclosures. Recognizing the enormity of the task with approximately 60 IT professionals involved, the team met daily to track priorities, schedules, challenges, solutions and progress.
Offsite vendors AT&T, Microsoft and IBM also provided assistance. They were able to offer input to the project via remote connections and installation of new switches to provide a communication path between an offsite SRMC office and SRS.
The group worked steadily for five months to integrate equipment, hardware, circuitry and cyber functions among multiple locations. No interruptions of service were experienced throughout the entire process, and the team completed its task and satisfied the contractual deadline.
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