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Critical Infrastructure Improvements Support Sustainability in SRS Tank Farms

AIKEN, S.C. (June 1, 2022) – The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (EM) is improving operational reliability through critical infrastructure replacement at a Savannah River Site (SRS) tank farm.

Crews in the site’s H Tank Farm installed a new, 38-foot pipe bridge to transport utility services to the 2H Evaporator. The increased reliability of utility supply will help ensure the evaporator, one of two located in the tank farm, can run efficiently until the end of the liquid waste mission at SRS.

The bridge installation is part of an ongoing project to install new aboveground infrastructure to replace aging underground utilities that service tanks and facilities located on the H Tank Farm’s East Hill. Replacing the utility infrastructure improves the reliability of critical utilities, such as steam, air, and water.

There are 43 remaining operational tanks that store radioactive salt and sludge waste at SRS.

Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC), EM’s SRS liquid waste contractor, manages all SRS liquid waste systems, including the tank farms. SRMC is completing the East Hill utilities project for EM.

Improving critical infrastructure will allow the tank farm to better support salt batches for the Salt Waste Processing Facility and sludge batches for the Defense Waste Processing Facility, according to Jim Folk, DOE-Savannah River assistant manager for waste disposition.

“The East Hill utilities project mitigates excavation to repair underground utilities, avoiding potential system downtime,” Folk said. “It is also more cost effective to run new utilities above ground than to replace underground utilities in potentially contamination areas.”

SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson said reliability is one of SRMC’s core values, and the East Hill utilities project is reliability in action.

“Installing permanent, reliable infrastructure is necessary to achieve our long-term mission,” Olson said. “We are ensuring all our systems are reliable so that this team can remain committed to finishing the liquid waste mission by 2037.”

Crews have installed nearly half of the new commodities to support utilities for the East Hill tanks, including anchors, pipes, pipe supports and pipe bridges. The project is set to complete in fall 2024.

Cutline: Crews install a new pipe bridge in the Savannah River Site’s H Tank Farm that will transport utility services to 2H Evaporator, pictured, which reduces the volume of liquid radioactive waste in the site's 43 remaining operational tanks.


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