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An aerial view of Savannah River Site waste Tanks 5 and 6, which are targeted for removal from service this year.

Readiness Assessments Begin for Tanks 5 and 6 Grouting

July 25, 2013

AIKEN, S.C. - Savannah River Remediation (SRR) has begun the process to confirm it is ready to begin grouting the next two nuclear waste tanks at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

SRR has commenced the initial assessment, called a Facility Self-Assessment, which will lead to a formal readiness assessment conducted by an independent review team prior to the start of grouting, according to Stuart MacVean, interim SRR President and Project Manager. "Prior to any significant activity, assessments are held to confirm that we are ready to proceed," MacVean said.

Readiness assessments are conducted prior to performing major work to ensure all preparations have been made, resources available, people trained and hazards identified and mitigated prior to the start of the activity.

Field preparation activities are complete and all that remains before grouting Tanks 5 and 6 is completion of the readiness process, according to Dan Wood, SRR Waste Removal and Tank Closure Director.

"Through the hard work and dedication of the team, field work is now complete and we are conducting test runs of grouting equipment," Wood stated. "Following a successful readiness assessment, we will begin grouting."

Grouting is targeted for next month and will continue through the fall.

A remote camera inside a cleaned Tank 5 shows no residual waste on the tank floor and some of the four miles of cooling coils inside the tank.

Tanks 5 and 6 are smaller than Tanks 18 and 19, which were operationally closed in 2012. Tanks 5 and 6 could hold up to approximately 750,000 gallons of waste, whereas, Tanks 18 and 19 had a capacity of 1.3 million gallons.

However, waste removal and tank cleaning activities were considerably more extensive because inside Tanks 5 and 6 are over four miles of two-inch diameter, carbon-steel cooling coil piping, which was used to cool the radioactive waste.

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 Professional Solutions.

Point of Contact: Rick Kelley, Public Affairs  803.208.0198

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