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IDAHO FALLS, IdahoEM crews have treated and repackaged 100 drums of radioactive sludge waste to date at the Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) VII facility at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site.

The contents of approximately 2,400 drums will be treated in the ARP VII facility, raked thoroughly, thermally monitored, and repackaged prior to out-of-state disposal.

The ARP VII facility, equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, was most recently used to reduce the size of large, contaminated legacy waste boxes and debris prior to repackaging them for shipment to permanent disposal facilities.

An excavator empties the contents of a sludge drum into a sorting tray at the Accelerated Retrieval Project VII facility.
An excavator empties the contents of a sludge drum into a sorting tray at the Accelerated Retrieval Project VII facility.

The waste treated at ARP VII was generated during the Cold War, primarily at the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, and was sent to the INL Site until the 1980s.

New processes will minimize the chance of an event similar to a breach of four drums following waste treatment and repackaging at the ARP V facility in April 2018. No external contamination was detected from that event and there were no injuries.

“Our crews have improved the processes for safely treating and packaging sludge wastes,” said Jason Chapple, a manager at Flour Idaho, EM’s INL Site cleanup contractor.

EM and Fluor Idaho are currently involved in the closure of the ARP V facility in compliance with federal regulations.

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