Final TRU Waste Standard Large Box 2 Leaves SRS

AIKEN, S.C. (May 3, 2022) -Employees at the Solid Waste Management Facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS) recently saw the final shipment of Standard Large Box 2s (SLB2) containing transuranic (TRU) waste leave SRS. TRU waste SLB2s are shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico within a Transuranic Package Transportation Model 3, or TRUPACT-III, shipping package. 

The TRUPACT-III is a larger cask than used for smaller TRU waste containers, such as standard waste boxes or 55-gallon drums, that has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for shipping TRU waste containers to WIPP. 

“SRS is the only Site to use the TRUPACT-III so far,” said Solid Waste Programs Manager Kerri Crawford. “We began using TRUPACT-IIIs in 2011 due to our need to package larger TRU waste volumes and in order to avoid the radiological dose and industrial hazards of having employees cut large pieces of TRU Waste to fit into smaller waste containers.”

The SLB2s and TRUPACT-IIIs were developed to support shipment of these larger TRU waste items from SRS to WIPP.  Larger characterization equipment was utilized for characterization and certification of the 239 SLB2s that were packaged at SRS. This equipment was demobilized following the characterization campaign.

Each SLB2 holds 6.6 cubic meters of transuranic waste as compared to the 1.8 cubic meters that is held in the smaller Standard Waste Box, which is commonly used for SRS TRU waste. SRS shipped 232 SLB2s to WIPP from August 2011 through February 2014, with seven remaining legacy SLB2s to go when WIPP paused receipt of TRU waste in 2014. 

“We are excited to see this legacy waste leave the Site, as part of our commitment to environmental cleanup,” said Crawford.  

With the completion of the SLB2 shipping mission, the TRUPACT-III loading equipment will be dismantled and offered for use at another Department of Energy site. 

Transuranic Waste, or TRU Waste, typically consists of protective clothing, tools, rags, equipment and miscellaneous items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other heavy elements. 

To see a short video about the shipment, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S46OEllZZ98.

The TRUPACT-III carrying the last SLB2 of transuranic waste leaves the Savannah River Site.
TRUPACT III carrying last SLB2
The Solid Waste Management Facility employees involved in the completion of the SLB2 mission.
Solid Waste Management Facility Employees Involved In Completion