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United States : Savannah River Site Employees Work Together on Major Waste Treatment Outage.

EM has begun the critical task of connecting the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) to the Savannah River Site (SRS) liquid waste facilities earlier than planned, taking advantage of a system-wide outage prompted by the need to replace a major facility component.

Most of the sites liquid waste facilities are not processing materials during the outage, which is accounted for in the SRS Liquid Waste System Plan. It does not impact long-term production in EMs liquid waste mission.

Due to the complexity of the work, the outage will be in effect until the end of this year, according to DOE-Savannah River Assistant Manager for Waste Disposition Jim Folk.

The extended outage ensures all our work in the facilities can be accomplished safely and thoroughly, Folk said. Using 2017 to complete this significant outage will put the liquid waste facilities in a better operational position and make them more robust for the next year and beyond.

DOE-Savannah River Manager Jack Craig views the outage as the right time to complete significant tasks to improve operations.

The system outage presented an optimum time to perform preventive and corrective maintenance on systems that cannot be shut down for extended periods during melter operations, Craig said.

The outage is like an interstate highway: everyone travels in a lane, interconnected, with on-and-off-ramps and mergers. Led by liquid waste contractor Savannah River Remediation (SRR), it requires the expertise of multiple organizations, with work scopes overlapping. They include safety and health, engineering, contracting, project integration, project communications, facility operations, project design and construction, nuclear safety, maintenance, radiological controls, and work planning.

A key step in connecting SWPF is exposing and modifying the waste transfer lines for the liquid waste facilities. Workers installed sheet piling and flushed and drained all transfer lines. Next, they will finish the excavation.

Process jumpers within 511-S, a liquid waste facility adjacent to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), must be modified to support SWPF. This requires resolving processing chemistry issues and flushing and draining the systems to minimize impact to the liquid waste facilities. Once operational, SWPF will process the majority of the remaining salt waste inventory at SRS.

The outage allows EM to replace the DWPF melter that operated nearly 14 years. Workers moved Melter 2 to an underground storage vault. The new melter will be transported to DWPF later this spring following inspections in an onsite mock-up facility.

The melter is a 65-ton refractory-lined melting vessel that receives treated high-level waste from the sites underground waste tanks. When heated with other constituents, the waste forms a molten glass. The solid glass-formed waste is then poured into stainless-steel canisters, which are safely stored onsite until they can be placed in permanent storage.

Before taking out the old melter, workers shut down or removed equipment and systems surrounding it, including 93 jumpers and components that require disassembly. They readied the melter storage box, and cleaned and removed the surrounding cell covers for the melters exit path. They also prepared several cranes to lift the melter from its cell for transport by rail and lower it into the storage vault.

Other facility outages and specialized work are part of the system outage.

At DWPF, workers will perform preventive and corrective maintenance on systems that cannot be shut down for extended periods during melter operations.

Workers continue to transfer high-level waste between Tanks 13 and 15 to prepare for Tank 15s operational closure.

Integral to the outage work is the Documented Safety Analysis, which provides the technical basis for ensuring safe, compliant operations of the liquid waste facilities.

SRR President and Project Manager Tom Foster emphasized the focus on ensuring the safety of the workers, public and environment.

We use our Integrated Safety Management process to ensure each potential risk and hazard is identified, analyzed, and then controlled, he said.

I have compared the complexity of this melter replacement at the same time as the SWPF tie-in work to be like sending a man to the moon, Foster said. Its going to take outstanding skill, and we have a great team in place at Savannah River Remediation to do so. The energy is high and our people are dedicated to delivering results.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jun 2, 2017
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