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Steve Spell, Savannah River Remediation Tank Farm first line manager, conducts routine inspection of the ARP/MCU process in support of accelerated salt processing.

Salt Processing Milestone Achieved at SRS

March 5, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. - The process of treating and disposing liquid salt waste currently stored in the Savannah River Site's (SRS) underground storage tanks achieved substantial milestones recently. Treatment of three million gallons of salt waste was achieved January 11, 2013, establishing a new processing amount for the Salt Disposition Process (SDP), which was placed into service in April 2008.

New processing records also were set for daily and weekly totals. On January 10, 2013, SDP processed over 12,600 gallons, compared to the old daily record of 12,154 gallons set initially on September 29, 2012, and again on November 4, 2012. A new seven-day weekly record was achieved on January 15, 2013, when nearly 68,800 gallons were processed. This compared to 56,511 gallons set during a seven-day period ending October 5, 2011.

The SDP consists of the Actinide Removal Process (ARP) and Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU), two facilities that remove nearly all of the radioactive isotopes in the salt waste before the salt solution is transferred to the Site's Saltstone facilities for final disposition.

Achieving these milestones continues to prove the effectiveness of salt waste processing at SRS, according to Dr. David Moody, Manager, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-Savannah River Operations Office. "Our salt processing technologies have proven very effective in removing the radioactive constituents from salt waste and are an integral part of DOE's strategy to complete tank closures and protect workers, human health and the environment," Dr. Moody said.

Dave Olson, Savannah River Remediation (SRR) President and Project Manager, said the SDP continues to operate beyond its originally designated three-year life of operations and well above its original processing rate of four gallons of salt solution processed every minute.

"The ARP and MCU facilities have surpassed expected operational results by processing at a rate of over eight gallons per minute, operating greater than 10 times more efficiently and for a longer period than expected," Olson said.

Last summer, the ARP and MCU facilities under went facility upgrades and process improvements designed to extend their operational lives and achieve greater processing totals.

Salt waste in SRS waste tanks make up about 91 percent of the waste volume, and the efficient and continued processing of salt waste is instrumental to emptying and closing tanks, Olson said.

SRS is owned by DOE. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by SRR, a team of companies led by URS Corp. with partners Bechtel National, CH2M Hill and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, Energy Solutions and URS Safety Management Solutions.

Point of Contact: Amy Joslin, Director of Public Affairs and Project Communications 803-208-1956

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