Workers use a crane to move a new pump to a Tank 41 riser for installation.
Workers use a crane to move a new pump to a Tank 41 riser for installation.

AIKEN, S.C. – Workers recently installed a new pump at EM’s Savannah River Site (SRS), moving them closer to finish preparing a second blend tank for the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) — a milestone in integration work for the facility.

DOE-Savannah River Assistant Manager for Waste Disposition Jim Folk said positioning the liquid waste program for upcoming SWPF operations is key to remediating waste and closing waste tanks.

“The liquid waste mission is transitioning from closing waste tanks individually to emptying multiple waste tanks at a time, and then closing multiple tanks at a time,” Folk said. “As technology evolves, so does the strategy to disposition waste.”

The new submersible blend pump set up in Tank 41 will support increased salt processing feed rates required when SWPF begins operations.

SWPF will accelerate dispositioning of salt waste, which accounts for up to 90 percent of the site’s tank farm inventory. Salt waste is currently processed through the site’s interim salt processing facilities and a newly deployed demonstration project, Tank Closure Cesium Removal.

Currently, one blend tank is used for salt processing. Tank 41 is one of three tanks scheduled to serve as blend tanks for SWPF. A blend tank receives raw salt solution from other liquid waste storage tanks. The pump is used to mix that material, which is then sampled and analyzed to ensure it meets criteria for acceptance at SWPF. Then, that batch is transferred to Tank 49, the designated SWPF feed tank.

The SRS liquid waste contractor, Savannah River Remediation (SRR), is converting waste tanks to support new functions, technologies, and facilities. The new pump, which has a 30-horsepower motor, was tested at the SRS testing facility’s mock waste tank earlier this year. The pump addition was a first-of-a-kind installation, making the task unique for SRR crews, said Rob Huff, SRR Tank 41 project manager for liquid waste/SWPF integration.

“We are installing the best equipment in the industry to facilitate reducing the risk to the public and environment,” Huff said. “Savannah River Remediation is ensuring the readiness of the liquid waste program by preparing waste tanks for the increased processing rates for the Salt Waste Processing Facility.”