Office of Environmental Management

Workers Finish Retrieving Waste Drums at Idaho Site

December 15, 2016

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A worker holds a sign identifying the last of 14,500 drums to be removed in the cargo container extraction project.

A worker holds a sign identifying the last of 14,500 drums to be removed in the cargo container extraction project.

Crews prepare to pull out the last of more than 82,000 drums in a project at the Transuranic Storage Area-Retrieval Enclosure. At left are some of the 80 boxes of waste targeted for removal by May 2017.

Crews prepare to pull out the last of more than 82,000 drums in a project at the Transuranic Storage Area-Retrieval Enclosure. At left are some of the 80 boxes of waste targeted for removal by May 2017.

IDAHO FALLS, IdahoEM’s Idaho Site recently marked two significant cleanup accomplishments after workers retrieved the final drums of waste in two projects.

   Crews removed the last of more than 14,500 drums in the cargo container extraction project inside the Transuranic Storage Area-Retrieval Enclosure, a more than seven-acre building at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex. Workers repackaged the drums in 85- and 110-gallon drums for characterization, treatment and eventual shipment out of state for permanent disposal.

   The drums had been stored inside 209 cargo containers, which workers permanently disposed of in an onsite disposal facility.

   In the second project in the building’s Retrieval Contamination Enclosure, crews cleared the last 55-gallon drum, adding to the more than 82,000 removed since 2003. The drums had been stored there since the early 1970s.

   Crews are on track to meet a May 2017 deadline contained in Fluor Idaho’s contract for completion of safe, compliant and efficient retrieval work. About 80 boxes of waste remain. They contain the remnants of an estimated 250 cubic meters of the site’s original 65,000 cubic meters of stored waste.