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Workers Complete Retrieval of 11th Single-Shell Tank at EM’s Hanford Site

November 26, 2013 - 12:00pm

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A composite image comprised of dozens of photos taken inside C-110 provides a rare panoramic view of the tank interior. Portions of the tank floor and the FoldTrack waste-retrieval system are clearly visible.

A composite image comprised of dozens of photos taken inside C-110 provides a rare panoramic view of the tank interior. Portions of the tank floor and the FoldTrack waste-retrieval system are clearly visible.

Operators use multiple technologies to remove waste from underground storage tank

RICHLAND, Wash. – EM’s Office of River Protection and its tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), recently completed retrieval of radioactive and chemical waste from another of Hanford’s underground single-shell storage tanks.

An engineering evaluation of Tank C-110 determined the waste volume is below the regulatory requirement of 360 cubic feet of waste remaining in the tank. Video of the 530,000-gallon-capacity tank shows a large percentage of the tank bottom is now visible. Tank C-110 is the 11th tank to have waste retrieval activities completed to date at Hanford.

Bulk retrieval of C-110 reduced the amount of waste in the tank from the estimated original starting volume of 178,000 gallons of sludge using modified sluicing, leaving approximately 17,200 gallons of hard-heel waste on the tank floor. Crews used a redesigned version of the Mobile Retrieval Tool, or FoldTrack, a remotely operated, track-mounted tool that deployed two additional retrieval technologies to complete retrieval the hard-heel waste.

“FoldTrack had its most successful deployment, which was crucial in completing the retrieval of this tank,” EM Federal Project Director for Single-Shell Tank Retrieval and Closure Joanne Grindstaff said. “The FoldTrack has a plow-blade, two on-board water jet systems, three high-pressure turbo nozzles, and a sluicing cannon that operators use to break down the difficult-to-remove waste and move the tank waste closer to the pump, making it easier to transfer waste to the double-shell tank.”

In addition, the C-110 retrieval operation was the first in C Farm to use a hot-water skid to support operations. The skid can produce 100 gallons per minute of 120-degree water used to accelerate dissolution of any water-soluble constituents in the sludge waste.

WRPS is the prime contractor responsible for managing the risk to the environment posed by Hanford’s 56 million gallons of high-level radioactive and chemical waste stored in 177 underground tanks. ORP is responsible for safely retrieving and treating Hanford’s tank waste and closing the tank farms to protect the Columbia River.

 

 

 

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