November 8, 1983
The Department begins construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina. DWPF is designed to make high-level nuclear waste into a glass-like substance, which will then be shipped to a repository. DWPF will mix borosilicate glass with the waste, heat it to 2000 degrees F, and pour the mixture into stainless steel canisters. The mixture will cool into solid glass that can be permanently stored. DWPF will immobilize the more than 34 million gallons of liquid high-level waste that have accumulated from producing defense-related nuclear materials.