More waste disposal units under way at Savannah River Site

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 9:47 AM
Last updated 9:10 PM
  • Follow Metro

Savannah River Site contractors who successfully opened a new disposal unit for low-level radioactive, non-hazardous salt waste have been authorized to add two similar units now under construction.

This aerial photo shows a new style of waste disposal units at Savannah River Site used to bury low-level waste that has been stabilized with a cement-like grout.  SPECIAL
This aerial photo shows a new style of waste disposal units at Savannah River Site used to bury low-level waste that has been stabilized with a cement-like grout.

The units built by Savannah River Remediation are used to hold decontaminated salt solution taken from salt waste inside SRS underground waste storage tanks.

The new Saltstone Dis­posal Unit 2 has two cells that are circular in design. Each cell will hold about 2.9 million gallons of nonhazardous cement grout, which is a mixture of the decontaminated salt solution with Portland, fly ash and slag cement powders. The first cell put into service is nearly full.

The disposal unit cells have a watertight design and a cylindrical shape, unlike the site’s current disposal unit, which has a rectangular shape. The cylindrical design reduces wall stresses found in the rectangular units. It also includes an engineered concrete and steel shell, a wall-to-floor joint design, and high-density polyethylene and geosynthetic-clay barriers below the unit.

Unit 2 began accepting low-level, nonhazardous cement grout in one of its two cells in October 2012. Once filled, the second cell will continue accepting the cement mix.

Construction is continuing on two additional units, each with two individual disposal cells. Together, these four cells will hold about 11.6 million gallons of the cement grout, which will provide enough disposal capacity until mid-2015.

Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1 01/23/13 - 11:14 am
Yucca Mt. By Default

It's starting to look more and more like we are going to be Yucca Mt. by default. Putting this stuff in concrete sounds permanent to me.

Sweet son
Sweet son 01/23/13 - 06:38 pm

I guess we are not politically strong enough in the Southeast to send this stuff to Yucca Mt. per the original concept. Our local politicos need to get on the ball and make the transfer of some of these wastes to Yucca happen! We need 'ole Strom Thurmond back to help us out.

GiantsAllDay 01/24/13 - 01:04 am
Trust me when I say that as

Trust me when I say that as long as Harry Reid is alive, Yucca Mountain will never receive any nuclear waste whatsoever.

atom.girl 01/24/13 - 07:40 pm
Non-Hazardous Waste = Big Lie

How can anyone call this waste non-hazardous? SRS admits it is going to dispose of millions of curies of radiation using the grout/vault method although they never will tell us how much waste has been handled in terms of curies. It is a lousy idea born of failure of all the other ideas that have been tried. Radiation has already been detected outside of the so-called vaults, and the high water table coupled with long-lived hazardous life of the radionuclides in the so-called low-level waste portend disaster to future generations of all creatures in the region of SRS.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs