Savannah River Remediation, the liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site, has set a new standard for waste processing and finished fiscal year 2012 with “flying colors,” the company reports.
The Defense Waste Processing Facility that glassifies highly-radioactive waste from SRS’s underground waste tanks, has set a new production record.
During the fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the DWPF filled 275 stainless steel canisters with glassified waste, meeting the canister production goal.
This is the most canisters produced in any single year since the facility started up in March 1996.
“Safely disposing of legacy nuclear waste and closing waste tanks is a top priority for DOE,” said Terrel Spears, assistant manager for Waste Disposition Project, Department of Energy. “Setting and then meeting our goals helps us measure our progress toward accomplishing our mission.”
SRR, the government contractor performing liquid waste operations at SRS since 2009, not only set a record at DWPF, but the company achieved record-setting performance in other production facilities and accomplished all of its FY12 production milestones in the process.
Dave Olson, SRR president and project manager, acknowledged the accomplishments recently in a report to employees.
“SRR employees have worked diligently during the year to meet, and in some cases, exceed our production goals,” Olson said. “We finished FY12 in flying colors.”
Dispositioning waste in the tanks means that legacy waste consisting of a liquid salt solution and a sludge has to be removed first before waste tanks can be cleaned and operationally closed. The low radioactive salt waste is removed first, followed by removal of the high radioactive sludge. The sludge is sent to the DWPF for processing.
Other facilities achieving record production years included the Actinide Removal Process and Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit, which removes radioactive chemicals and decontaminates radioactive salt waste.
The facilities processed 704,457 gallons of salt waste, beating their target of 700,000 gallons.
Disposing of decontaminated salt solution is the function of the Site’s Saltstone Production and Disposal facilities. During FY12, Saltstone processed 1,251,312 gallons of decontaminated salt solution and disposed of the waste on-site in concrete vaults. This number beat the FY12 target by 51,312 gallons.
This summer, Tanks 18 and 19 were operationally closed after they were cleaned and filled with grout. Work is continuing on Tanks 5 and 6, the next tanks slated for operational closure, scheduled for 2013.