RICHLAND, Wash. – Workers recently moved three enclosures that make up a system that will pretreat Hanford Site tank waste for processing to their permanent home onsite.
“This is a major accomplishment,” Janet Diediker, federal projects manager at EM’s Office of River Protection, said of the delivery of the Tank-Side Cesium Removal system. “It keeps construction of this vital part of the waste feed delivery system on schedule for commissioning by early next year.”
The pretreatment system will remove radioactive cesium and solids from tank waste and is critical to the site’s Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste approach, which will send pretreated waste directly from the tank farms to the Low-Activity Waste Facility at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant for vitrification.
Workers built the system and conducted factory acceptance testing at the AVANTech facility in Richland, located just south of the 580-square-mile site. EM Hanford tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions worked with Lampson Crane to move the process, auxiliary, and control enclosures by flatbed trailer about 25 miles onto the site and lifted them into place on a concrete pad next to the AP Farm tanks.
At the heart of the pretreatment system are three ion exchange columns that will remove cesium from the waste stream. They will be moved from AVANTech when preparations for operational acceptance testing begin later this year. Workers will deliver the equipment using a custom-designed trailer that allows offloading and placement of the 24,000-pound columns into a process enclosure.
During pretreatment operations, tank waste will flow through the ion exchange columns at about five gallons per minute. Pretreated waste will be stored in a double-shell tank in AP Farm until it is sent through underground piping to the Low-Activity Waste Facility, where it will be heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, mixed with glass-forming materials, and poured into stainless steel containers for disposal.