September 23, 2015
AIKEN, S.C. - The final pouring of grout into Tank 16 at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) was completed yesterday, ahead of schedule. It is the seventh underground radioactive high-level waste storage tank operationally closed at the Site, and the fifth tank closed since 2012.
On the heels of Tank 16's operational closure, the field work for grout preparation on Tank 12 was completed last week. Tank 12 will be the next older style tank to be operationally closed with grouting expected to begin no later than February 2016.
Jack Craig, DOE-Savannah River Manager, said the liquid waste work ongoing at SRS is a significant step in reducing the risk of exposure and contamination to the public, workers, and the environment.
"Safely treating and disposing of legacy nuclear waste and closing older style waste tanks is a top priority for DOE," Craig said. "I congratulate all involved in the closure of Tank 16, and we look forward to grouting Tank 12 soon."
Workers at Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the SRS liquid waste contractor, placed nearly 6,300 cubic yards of grout into the Tank 16 primary tank and systems from June 2 through September 22. Closure is the culmination of several extensive preparation and isolation activities, where the placement of grout to fill up the entire tank and all internal tank components is the final step.
Tank 16 is the first tank that has been closed in H Area and is also the first closure of a Type II tank. Type II tanks are among the oldest at the Site, having been constructed between 1955 and 1956. This tank is 85-feet in diameter and has a storage capacity of approximately 1 million gallons.
Tank 16 was closed ahead of the October 27, 2015, deadline in the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) between DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The other high-level waste storage tanks that have been closed are located in F Area:
SRS is owned by DOE. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by SRR, which is composed of a team of companies led by AECOM with partners Bechtel National, CH2M and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.