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Savannah River Site Grouts, Closes Liquid Waste Structures in Place

AIKEN, S.C. (December 13, 2022) – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) and its liquid waste contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS) have safely and successfully entombed in concrete two previously radioactive structures.

State regulators and officials with DOE-Savannah River (DOE-SR) and Savannah River Mission Completion gathered to observe the placing of concrete surrounding Diversion Box 6. DOE-SR Manager Michael Budney, center, discusses the work performed on Box 6, which is shown in the background.

Savannah River Mission Completion (SRMC) placed concrete over and around two concrete structures called diversion boxes that contain a series of connection points that allowed high-level radioactive waste to be transferred from one tank or facility to another.

The two structures have been out of service for more than 30 years. As part of the closure process, both structures also were filled with grout previously, rendering them inoperable.

The two diversion boxes were the first ancillary structures closed in this way under SRMC’s liquid waste contract. They are located in the F Tank Farm, which is a grouping of large underground waste-storage tanks. The liquid waste program at SRS has closed eight of the site’s 51 massive waste tanks by filling them with cementitious grout.

DOE-Savannah River Manager Michael Budney said closure of the diversion boxes is another step in the overall goal of the liquid waste program.

“Although there is still much to be done at the site’s tank farms, this closure marks another step in that process,” said Budney. “The safe handling and closing of structures such as these enables us to further reduce our total footprint.”

SRMC President and Program Manager Dave Olson said the integrity of the concrete placed over and around the diversion boxes provides additional protection to workers, the public and the environment.

“As we continue to execute our mission, an important value will always be the safety of our people and protection of our surroundings,” Olson said. “Every job must be performed properly so that we can continue to live up to our standards.”

Savannah River Mission Completion covered Diversion Boxes 5 and 6 with concrete to permanently close the boxes from future use. Box 5 is shown prior to its being entombed in concrete. Box 5 is also shown after workers placed concrete over and around the structure.


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