June 2, 2015
AIKEN, S.C. - Cement trucks hauling specially-formulated grout are once again traversing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) as grouting activities on the next underground radioactive liquid waste storage tank began today.
Jack Craig, DOE-Savannah River Manager, who started in his new position on June 1, said he is pleased to be able to begin his tenure as SRS takes a significant step towards closing another tank. "Grouting this tank says a great deal about the partnerships necessary to close SRS waste tanks," Craig said. "This initial filling of Tank 16 with grout is the result of a strong and enduring partnership between DOE, SRR, SCDHEC and EPA."
Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the SRS liquid waste contractor, has begun the grouting process in Tank 16. Tank 16 is the first tank that will be 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.
The primary tank sits in a nearly 3-foot thick reinforced concrete vault with a five-foot high annulus secondary pan, much like a cup and saucer arrangement. During its use, the annulus was designed to contain any leaks that may have developed in the primary tank wall.
Tank 16 underwent extensive removal activities that included waste material being pumped out, cleaning with specialized mechanical and chemical processes, and isolating the tanks from all systems. These activities were prerequisites leading to regulatory confirmation that the tank was cleaned to the maximum extent practical and ready for closure. Waste tank closure is accomplished through the placement of grout to fill the entire tank and all tank component voids.
The Federal Facility Agreement between DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control requires that Tank 16 be operational closed by October 27, 2015.
This old-style tank will become the seventh tank operationally closed at the Site.
All of the tanks closed to date are located in F Area and include:
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.