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Savannah River Site Makes Progress on Recovery Act-funded Cleanup

February 9, 2011 - 12:00pm

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SRS loaded 14 standard waste boxes containing mixed and low-level waste that previously was classified as transuranic TRU waste. This shipment to a Florida treatment site marks the 1,000 cubic meter milestone of the 5,000 cubic meters in the Site’s TRU program that will be dispositioned through the Recovery Act.

SRS loaded 14 standard waste boxes containing mixed and low-level waste that previously was classified as transuranic TRU waste. This shipment to a Florida treatment site marks the 1,000 cubic meter milestone of the 5,000 cubic meters in the Site’s TRU program that will be dispositioned through the Recovery Act.

AIKEN, S.C. – The Savannah River Site’s (SRS) American Reinvestment and Recovery Act program recently disposition of more than 1,000 cubic meters of legacy transuranic waste (TRU). This represents 20 percent of the 5,000 cubic meter inventory of TRU waste that will be disposed as part of the site’s Recovery Act program and accelerates the waste leaving South Carolina.

“We are pleased to be getting the waste out of South Carolina in the most efficient method possible,” said Dr. David Moody, manager, U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River. “This milestone is an important part of our commitment to remove 5,000 cubic meters of legacy TRU waste from SRS under the Recovery Act.”

The waste originated at the site’s F and H Canyons as part of the site’s chemical separations mission for the production of nuclear materials. The Recovery Act program is funding the remediation, characterization, and re-packaging of the legacy TRU waste for permanent disposal.

Before waste leaves SRS it undergoes remediation and characterization, including x-raying and assaying the waste. These activities determine if the material stays in the certification process for the TRU program for eventual disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, NM, or if it undergoes treatment for disposition as mixed low level waste (LLW). This sophisticated process of sorting the waste results in a cost savings to the taxpayer as disposing waste as LLW is a less expensive alternative.

“We commend the team approach to ridding SRS of its legacy TRU waste inventory,” said Paul Hunt, vice president Recovery Act Portfolio for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the management and operations contractor at SRS. “This milestone puts us that much closer to eliminating the Site’s legacy TRU inventory.”

The Savannah River Site will have its remaining legacy TRU waste inventory shipped for disposal by December 2012. In total, the Recovery Act is responsible for the disposition of 5,000 cubic meters of legacy TRU waste.

Additional information on the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the Savannah River Site can be found at http://www.em.doe.gov or http://www.srs.gov. For more information about the SRS Recovery Act Project, visit
www.srs.gov/recovery.

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