You are here

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

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.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
SRS Crews Mark Milestone in Double-Stacking Waste Canister Project
January 21, 2020
EM crews recently reached a significant milestone by modifying the 1,000th storage position for vitrified waste canisters at the Savannah River Site.
Learn More
Hanford Facility Gearing Up for Tank Waste Disposal Operations
January 14, 2020
In coming months, Hanford crews will build new access roads and install lighting, utilities, and support buildings.
Learn More
Finance Major Hits Hole-In-One as SRS Project Controls Specialist
January 14, 2020
Patrick Cunning is navigating the course of costs and schedules for tank closure project teams at EM’s Savannah River Site (SRS).
Learn More
College’s Nuclear Program Provides Pipeline for Hanford’s Future Workforce
January 7, 2020
A nuclear technology program at an area community college helps the Hanford tank operations contractor maintain a stream of qualified applicants.
Learn More
A Step Forward for DFLAW as Analytical Laboratory Chemists Begin Work
December 17, 2019
The first team of chemists is setting up shop at EM Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant.
Learn More
Hanford Tanks Contractor Earns 94 Percent of Available Fee in Fiscal 2019
December 17, 2019
EM’s Office of River Protection awarded its tank farms contractor nearly $38.7 million, or 94 percent, of the available $41 million fee.
Learn More
Commission Awards SRS Contractor for Improving Waste Management
December 17, 2019
An EM contractor at the Savannah River Site is the recipient of an award presented by a regional commission for low-level radioactive waste management
Learn More