One of the two newly constructed tanks for Savannah River Site’s radioactive liquid waste program has begun receiving decontaminated salt solution.
Savannah River Remediation, the liquid waste contractor at SRS, began transferring the salt solution to one of the two 60,000-gallon Salt Solution Receipt Tanks earlier this month.
The tanks are designed to improve the salt disposition process and prepare the site’s liquid waste program for the Salt Waste Processing Facility, which is undergoing testing.
While one tank is being used, the other won’t be needed until waste processing operations begin, scheduled for late 2018, according to the Department of Energy. Both tanks have passed inspections, a department news release stated.
DOE-Savannah River Manager Jack Craig said the tanks are another key step in preparing for the operation of the Salt Waste Processing Facility.
“There are many steps we have to take to ensure we are ready for SWPF start-up,” Craig said. “These receipt tanks are unique and will provide us capacity to handle a higher flow of (the salt solution).”
The tanks receive the salt solution from a million-gallon feed tank with salt waste that has come from the Actinide Removal Process/Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit. The solution is then turned into a grout mixture and permanently disposed of in Saltstone Disposal Units.
Completion of the tanks’ project prepares the Saltstone Production Facility for increased amounts of salt solution when the waste processing plant is completed. Once it begins operation, salt solution amounts to the Saltstone Production Facility will increase from the current one to 1.5 million gallons per year to more than 6 million gallons per year.
Tom Foster, the president and project manager of Savannah River Remediation, said the tanks are critical to liquid waste operations.
“The (tanks) are another important step as we continue to shape the liquid waste system for future operations,” Foster said. “The liquid waste processing work continues to evolve and improve, all to help protect people and the environment.”