Savannah River Remediation, the liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site, has deployed a new solvent in the SRS salt waste treatment activities that is expected to remove more radioactive constituents and eventually improve salt waste production.

The new technology is called the Next Generation Solvent - or NGS - and replaces a solvent that has been used since the Interim Salt Disposition Process (ISDP) began operations in April 2008. Following the outage deploying the NGS, facilities will begin operations early next year using the new solvent.

Neil Davis, Savannah River Remediation tank farms project director, said the focus of the NGS deployment is to improve performance and to set the stage for future production rate increases.

“One of the characteristics that we are looking for is increased cesium removal because we can process more waste while disposing of less cesium in the State of South Carolina,” Davis said. “This is a win-win for SRS and the State of South Carolina.”

Salt waste inside SRS waste tanks comprises more than 93 percent of the remaining waste. Removing the salt waste is essential in cleaning and operationally closing the tanks.

Full-scale testing has shown that NGS is more effective and extracts more cesium.

Terrel Spears, assistant manager for Waste Disposition Project, DOE-Savannah River Operations Office, called the NGS deployment an excellent development for all involved.

“The department has high confidence in this new technology and looks forward to the end result, which is to reduce risk from the stored Cold War legacy waste,” Spears said.