Tank Waste Processing and Tank Closure

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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

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

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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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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SRS Reaches Milestone in Construction of Large-Scale Disposal Unit
December 10, 2019
EM and its liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site completed construction.
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Mock-ups Prove Effective in Testing Idaho Waste Treatment Facility
December 10, 2019
EM and cleanup contractor Fluor Idaho have been working with a local small business to create mock-ups of critical equipment.
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