Savannah River Site has begun shipping oil contaminated with tritium and mercury to disposal facilities in Tennessee decades ahead of schedule due to the availability of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds.
The mixed waste includes 70 carbon-steel drums welded shut, with bottles and kegs of oil inside. Forty three of those drums have been sent offsite since late February, with seven of those barrels being shipped earlier this month.
The process oil was used in equipment at the old tritium facility at Savannah River Site and had been stored in the Mixed Waste Storage Facilities in N Area and E Area since it was removed from the equipment it once lubricated.
To prepare for shipping, the 55-gallon drums are enclosed in a U.S. Department of Transportation-regulation, 85-gallon drum. The shipments are sent to Diversified Scientific Solutions, Inc., near Oak Ridge, Tenn., where it is run through a combustion unit, enabling the resulting ash to meet land disposal regulations.
In addition to the oil, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will be consolidating contaminated equipment and shipping it to the Materials and Energy Corporation in Oak Ridge for treatment and repackaging before final shipment to the Nevada Test Site for disposal.
After the current shipment, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will have 27 drums of oil and 36 containers of equipment left to dispose of. Once all of the shippable mixed waste has been removed from the E-Area storage facility, the site will begin work to consolidate wastes from across the site into the warehouse, leaving E Area as the Sites primary waste storage facility.