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Glass Poured and Liquid Tank Waste graphic
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

  • Defense Waste Processing Facility – vitrifies the highly radioactive portion of the liquid waste;
  • Glass Waste Storage Building  – stores the glass canisters from the DWPF;
  • Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) –uses the same technology as the ARP/MCU but has a much higher throughput;
  • Saltstone Disposal Facility (SDF) – manages the low level effluent stream from the ARP/MCU or the SWPF for grouting and disposal on site at a Saltstone Disposal Unit.
Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant
Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant

Office of River Protection

  • Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) (under construction) – 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 Unit – 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.

 

 

Tank Waste & Waste Processing News

EM Leaders Say Liquid Waste Startups to Bring Rewards, Challenges
March 17, 2020
EM is preparing for a potential game change and the challenges it could bring.
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Managers Share Lessons in Advance of Liquid Waste Treatment Startups
March 17, 2020
Project managers advancing key liquid waste treatment facilities toward startup at three EM sites shared successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
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Hanford Leaders Share Teamwork Focus Ahead of Next Cleanup Phase
March 17, 2020
Hanford Site Manager Brian Vance and leaders of the site’s major cleanup contractors expressed pride in recent accomplishments and progress.
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Hanford Uses Innovative Robotic System to Inspect Bottom of Waste Storage Tanks
March 10, 2020
EM's Office of River Protection used an innovative robotic system that employs ultrasonic sound waves to help engineers detect and mitigate corrosion.
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Hanford Crew Operates Hoist in Mark of Progress for Tank Waste Treatment
March 3, 2020
A startup crew recently operated a hoist that will be used to lift containers of waste turned into glass weighing about 7 tons each.
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Cleanup Success Drives Record Number of Freight at Hanford
March 3, 2020
A record amount of freight was processed through the Hanford Site central warehouse in the last fiscal year.
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Hanford’s 222-S Laboratory Receives Safety Leadership Award
February 25, 2020
The National Safety Council recently awarded the EM Hanford Site’s 222-S Laboratory the Safety Leadership Award
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Hanford Acquires Containers, Spare Melter for DFLAW Operations
February 18, 2020
Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) prepares for the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) program to begin by the end of 2023.
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Making Space: Hanford Prepares Key Tank for Waste Treatment Mission
February 18, 2020
Hanford Site waste tank has been re-purposed in support of the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste program set to begin treating tank waste by 2023.
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Hanford WTP Laboratory Commissioning Advances With First Test Package
January 21, 2020
The first commissioning test package was recently approved for the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant.
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