Tank Waste Processing and Tank Closure

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Savannah River Site Tank Farm
Savannah River Site H Tank Farm

The Office of Environmental Management (EM) tank waste program consists of safely storing of 90 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste at the Savannah River Site (SRS), Idaho National laboratory (INL) and the Office of River Protection (ORP) at Hanford, Wash. Of the approximately 90 million gallons, 36 million gallons (250 x 106 Ci ) is stored at SRS, approximately 56 million gallons (109 x 106 Ci) is located at ORP while 900,000 gallons of liquid sodium bearing waste (300,000 Ci) is at INL. In addition, EM operates major nuclear facilities to process and dispose of the waste as well as emptying, cleaning and closing the waste tanks. The SRS and ORP waste streams treatment involves separating the highly radioactive fractions and low activity factions. The high activity portion undergoes vitrification while the low activity portion is then either vitrified or grouted. 

As liquid waste is processed, the tanks are operationally closed through a process that involves: bulk waste removal, heel removal, cooling coil flushing/annulus cleaning, isolation and residual sampling and grouting. To date 15 large High Level Waste Tanks, eight at SRS and seven at INL, have been operationally closed and grouted.  In addition, four small INL waste tanks have also been operationally closed and grouted.

The EM tank waste program’s goal is to continue cleanup progress in a cost-effective manner that is risk informed, engages stakeholders, applies innovative solutions and provides value to the American taxpayer.

Defense Waste Processing Facility

Current EM nuclear processing facilities include:

Savannah River Site

Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant
Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant

Office of River Protection

  • Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) (under contraction) – designed to vitrify both the high and low activity portions of the liquid tank waste with the current plan to initiate operations with low activity waste vitrification, Direct Feed Low Activity Waste.

 

 

 

Integrated Waste Treatment Unit
Integrated Waste Treatment Unit

 

 

Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

  • Integrated Waste Treatment Unity – designed to treat sodium bearing high level radioactive waste using Fluidized Bed Steam Reforming that decomposes waste using super-heated steam to produce a sodium-alumino-silicate mineralized waste form that can be packaged for disposal.

 

 

Fact Sheets
Analysis of Alternatives
Independent Analysis of Alternatives for Disposition of the Idaho Calcined High-Level Waste Inventory Volume 1 - Summary Report

The U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Field Office and the Office of Environmental Management (EM) chartered an independent Analysis of Alternatives...

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Tank Waste & Waste Processing News

EM Hanford Tanks Team Honored for Veteran Hiring, Support
November 12, 2019
EM Hanford Tanks Team Honored for Veteran Hiring, Support
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Making the Final Grade at Hanford’s WTP
November 5, 2019
Making the Final Grade at Hanford’s WTP
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Robotic Crawler Has Potential to Reduce Risk at Hanford Tank Farms
October 29, 2019
Robotic Crawler Has Potential to Reduce Risk at Hanford Tank Farms
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Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant Night Shift Key to Success
October 22, 2019
Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant Night Shift Key to Success
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Hanford, University Team Up to Test Filters for Waste Treatment Operations
October 8, 2019
Hanford, University Team Up to Test Filters for Waste Treatment Operations
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SRS Women@LiquidWaste Group Celebrates Year of Growth, Success
October 8, 2019
SRS Women@LiquidWaste Group Celebrates Year of Growth, Success
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Power is Coming to Hanford WTP’s Effluent Management Facility
October 1, 2019
Power is Coming to Hanford WTP’s Effluent Management Facility
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Hanford Improves Safety Culture Following Recommendation
September 24, 2019
Hanford Improves Safety Culture Following Recommendation
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Hanford Team Reflects on Site’s History, Looks Forward to Waste Treatment
September 17, 2019
EM Hanford Site Manager Brian Vance led a panel discussion about Hanford’s past, present, and future.
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Ike White Tours SRS Liquid Waste Facilities, Engages Employees
August 27, 2019
Ike White, Senior Advisor for EM, recently visited the Savannah River Site (SRS), where he toured liquid waste facilities and met with employees.
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