Office of Environmental Management

Savannah River Site Removes Nearly 81,000 Pounds of Legacy Lead

November 21, 2017

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Workers load a container of lead from legacy missions at the Savannah River Site onto a truck to transport to a waste disposal site in Texas.
Workers load a container of lead from legacy missions at the Savannah River Site onto a truck to transport to a waste disposal site in Texas.

AIKEN, S.C. – Workers transported about 81,000 pounds of lead from legacy Savannah River Site (SRS) missions to an offsite disposal facility.

  The lead was used as shielding during operational closure of high-level waste tanks in the site’s tank farms.

   SRS sent the 30 containers of lead in four shipments to Waste Control Specialists, a commercial waste treatment and disposal site near Andrews, Texas, that accepts mixed low-level radioactive waste. There, the lead is encased in grout and buried. 

   Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the SRS liquid waste contractor, partnered with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the SRS management and operations contractor, to complete the project.

   “It’s been a continuing mission to steadily reduce the lead inventory at the Savannah River Site,” SRR Environmental Manager Owen Stevens said. “The lead has low levels of radiological contamination, making it one of our priorities to remove it from the site and the state. Every effort and safety precaution was taken to ensure the shipment was loaded, transported, and arrived safely.”

   SRNS Solid Waste Programs Manager Lee Fox said the lead inventory reduction is a win for everyone at the site.

   “Everyone is happy to see it leave the site and be properly disposed,” Fox said.

   The contractors will continue to reduce the site’s lead inventory.

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