February 17, 2011
The Department of Energy's K Basins Sludge Treatment Project at the Hanford Site
In 1999, the Department of Energy's Richland Operations Office (Richland), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington State Department of Ecology signed an agreement for the remediation of two spent nuclear fuel storage basins located in the 100 K-Area of the Hanford Site. This agreement required the Department to retrieve and package for disposal over 2,100 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and to remove the estimated 28.5 cubic meters of radioactive sludge and place it in interim storage pending future treatment. After the fuel was removed in 2004, the agreement was amended to treat the sludge prior to interim storage and ship it to a national repository for disposal. The sludge is classified as remotehandled transuranic waste and will need to be packaged in a configuration that will meet the acceptance criteria for the Department's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
Topic: Environmental Cleanup