A project is closer to completion that would transform vast amounts of nuclear waste stored at the Savannah River Site.
Construction at the Savannah River Site (SRS) Salt Waste Processing Facility in Aiken County is complete bringing the facility one step closer to full operation planned for late 2018.
Salt Waste Project Manager, Frank Sheppard, told South Carolina Radio Network they are now in the testing phase at the facility. “Where we go and demonstrate equipment and systems,” Sheppard said Thursday.
The project is completed sooner than had been anticipated and under costs. “Construction was completed on April 22nd which was eight months ahead of schedule and $60million under budget,” said Sheppard.
“This is a key milestone for the project and for our workforce, which has performed admirably by safely and efficiently completing construction activities on this facility,” Sheppard said.
Now that construction is complete, The Department of Energy (DOE) and Parsons, the contractor, are focusing on testing the plant’s systems and training the workforce to operate the plant in preparation for the start of operations. Once in operation, the SWPF will significantly increase processing rates at SRS tank farms in an effort to empty the site’s high-level radioactive waste tanks.
The SWPF will be the key liquid waste facility for processing approximately 90 percent of the 36 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at SRS. It will separate the “salt” waste into a low-volume, highly radioactive solution that will be turned into glass in the Defense Waste Processing Facility and a high-volume, decontaminated salt solution for disposal as low-level waste in the Saltstone Facility.