Environmental Management workers at the Savannah River Site have safely shipped a nuclear waste tank trailer for disposal.

The High Activity Waste Tank Trailer had been used by Savannah River National Laboratory to transfer liquid waste samples for onsite disposal. It was later replaced by a new trailer and safely stored at SRNL until crews transported it to the site’s Solid Waste Management Facility for disposition.

“The project required extensive pre-planning to ensure that it was done safely because of internal contamination in the inner tank,” said Renee Hoeffner, SWMF project lead. “The equipment is also large at approximately 17 feet high, 9 feet high, and 15 feet long, and weighing 124,000 pounds. This required it to be lifted and moved from the trailer it was shipped on to a railcar for disposal using a crane.”

Workers lifted the High Activity Waste Tank Trailer from the trailer it was carried on so they could conduct a full radiological survey and decontaminate its underside. Next, they loaded it by crane into a shipping package staged on the railcar. Personnel in air-supplied plastic suits completed much of this work inside an enclosed structure.

“The scope of this activity required the interaction of many departments. The impressive, strategic teamwork involved many detailed discussions, scope meetings and walk-downs with all team members,” Hoeffner said. “Part of our accomplishment came from the agreement to not count the work as successful until it was finished. This way, we were continuously watchful for any changing condition throughout the process.”

The High Activity Waste Tank Trailer was shipped to a company specializing in nuclear services and decontamination to be disassembled for recycling and disposal.

“The team delivered excellent results without compromising safety,” said Verne Mooneyhan, SWMF facility manager. “Our employees were always engaged and proactively looking for hazards and risks in order to mitigate them with the proper controls.”