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Idaho’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project Details 2013 Accomplishments

December 24, 2013 - 12:00pm


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – EM and its contractor, Idaho Treatment Group (ITG), safely and compliantly met all of their production and shipping targets in the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) at the Idaho site in 2013. 

AMWTP's purpose is to safely process and dispose of transuranic (TRU) and mixed low-level waste (MLLW). The defense-related TRU waste is sent to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, and the MLLW is sent to other federal and commercial disposal sites. AMWTP is the largest shipper of contact-handled TRU waste to WIPP. In 2013, AMWTP sent 2,444.69 cubic meters for permanent disposal to WIPP.

AMWTP also maintains an impressive safety record. The last injury or illness resulting in time away from work on the project occurred on Dec. 3, 2003, more than 15.1 million hours ago. Since beginning management of AMWTP on Oct. 1, 2011, the ITG-led workforce has worked more than 2.6 million hours without a lost-time injury. 

Also in 2013, ITG identified and created new efficiencies in operations, including:

  • Use of supercompaction as treatment for prohibited items after a collaboration between DOE’s Idaho Operations and Carlsbad Field offices, as well as regulators in New Mexico and Idaho;
  • Use of a macroencapsulation process developed in 2012 for shipping legacy MLLW, resulting in cost savings over conventional treatment methods;
  • Introduction of a Operational Excellence program that brought a systematic approach to identifying ways to perform work in a safer, quicker and less costly manner; and
  • Employee-generated ideas that enhanced the safety and productivity of retrieval operations, including the Box Retrieval Forklift Carriage, which makes retrieval of old wooden boxes safer.