Aiken, S.C. -- Moving radioactive salt safely, closing liquid waste tanks and saving money are the drivers behind the successful completion of another American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, S.C., according to the Department of Energy.
This week it was announced that Savannah River Site's liquid waste contractor, Savannah River Remediation (SRR) had completed their second Stimulus-funded project. This Recovery Act project installed a Water Addition Skid and two 3,000 gallon water tanks at Tank 37. The cost of the project was estimated to be nearly $900,000 and was completed by SRR.
Acknowledging the Tank 37 achievement, Terrel Spears, Assistant Manager for Waste Disposition Projects, DOE Savannah River Operations Office, explained, “This is yet another example where Recovery Act funding is allowing us to accelerate tank closure with available technology and save money in the process.”
Described as “the brains of the operation,” the water skid device, operated by a computer processing unit, controls water used to dissolve and remove radioactive salt particles from Tank 37. Water from the two adjacent, newly installed smaller tanks will be injected into the storage tank, mixed with the accumulated radioactive salt produced by years of nuclear material production and then transferred out and forwarded to waste processing facilities on site.
SRR Project Manager Dale Price, a 38-year SRS veteran, said, “Cost efficiency makes Tank 37 a notable project. This new unit will save us significant dollars in how we do salt removal going forward.” Price estimated that “compared to past methods, savings may range in the neighborhood of $2.5 million per tank by avoiding the installation of additional infrastructure and monitoring equipment on the tanks ."
SRR were awarded $200 million of ARRA funds in 2009 with the goal of accelerating liquid waste cleanup and improvement of infrastructurre.