Improvements to the Saltstone Facility at the Savannah River Site have allowed it to beat goals with more than one million gallons of waste processed in the first half of its year.


The facility is on the way to achieving its yearly production goal of processing two million gallons of low-level salt waste from legacy tanks.


“Our employees are safely moving salt waste from storage to treatment and disposal in record amounts,” said Dave Olson, Savannah River Remediation president and project manager. “Sending this material through Saltstone is instrumental in performing our mission to close waste tanks and reduce risk.”


Recent improvements to the facility have provided a more reliable system capable of processing larger amounts of decontaminated salt solution. These improvements, combined with others scheduled in the near term, will ultimately support a 24/7 work schedule in the future when needed, said to Steve Wilkerson, SRR waste treatment manager.


Since beginning operations on June 12, 1990, the Saltstone facility has safely received, treated and disposed of more than 12 million gallons of low-level radioactive liquid salt wastes, according to a SRR press release. Processing and disposing of the decontaminated salt solution is essential in Savannah River Remediation achieving its mission, Olson said.


“We expect Saltstone to be even more robust as we position the Site for continued success in closing waste tanks,” Wilkerson said. “Recent improvements represent a significant portion of the modifications necessary to support a 24/7 work schedule when called upon.”


Terrel Spears, assistant manager for the Waste Disposition Project in the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office, said DOE is counting on Saltstone for future operations.


“DOE's ultimate priority is to operationally close our tank farm system and reduce risk,” Spears said. “The Saltstone operations are a critical component of DOE achieving that mission.”