skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Full Focus Needed on Finishing Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant - 12196

Abstract

The United States Department of Energy's (US DOE's) Hanford Nuclear Site has 177 underground waste storage tanks located 19 to 24 km (12 to 15 miles) from the Columbia River in south-central Washington State. Hanford's tanks now hold about 212,000 cu m (56 million gallons) of highly radioactive and chemically hazardous waste. Sixty-seven tanks have leaked an estimated 3,785 cu m (1 million gallons) of this waste into the surrounding soil. Further releases to soil, groundwater, and the Columbia River are the inevitable result of the tanks continuing to age. The risk from this waste is recognized as a threat to the Northwest by both State and Federal governments. US DOE and Bechtel National, Inc., are building the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) to treat and vitrify (immobilize in glass) the waste from Hanford's tanks. As is usual for any groundbreaking project, problems have arisen that must be resolved as they occur if treatment is to take place as specified in the court-enforceable Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement) and the Consent Decree, entered into by US DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). At times, US DOE's approachmore » to solving these critical issues seems to have caused undue wastes of time, energy, and, ultimately, public funds. Upon reviewing the history of Hanford's tank waste treatment project, Ecology hopes that constructive criticism of past failures and praise of successes will inspire US DOE to consider changing practices, be more transparent with regulatory agencies and the public, and take a 'lean production' approach to successfully completing this project. All three Tri-Party Agreement agencies share the goal of completing WTP on time, ensuring it is operational and in compliance with safety standards. To do this, Ecology believes US DOE should: - Maintain focus on the primary goal of completing the five major facilities of WTP. - Construct a supplemental low-activity waste (LAW) vitrification facility for the two-thirds balance of LAW that will not be treated by the vitrification facility under construction. - Prepare infrastructure for waste feed from the tanks and facilities to handle the WTP waste streams. To support this project track, Ecology expedites dangerous waste permitting by using a design-build approach to integrate WTP into the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit for Hanford. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Washington State Department of Ecology, Richland, WA 99354 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293492
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12196
TRN: US14V1147115016
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 14 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; COLUMBIA RIVER; FAILURES; GLASS; GROUND WATER; HAZARDS; SAFETY STANDARDS; WASTE STORAGE; WASTES

Citation Formats

Dahl, Suzanne, Biyani, Rabindra, and Holmes, Erika. Full Focus Needed on Finishing Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant - 12196. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Dahl, Suzanne, Biyani, Rabindra, & Holmes, Erika. Full Focus Needed on Finishing Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant - 12196. United States.
Dahl, Suzanne, Biyani, Rabindra, and Holmes, Erika. Sun . "Full Focus Needed on Finishing Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant - 12196". United States.
@article{osti_22293492,
title = {Full Focus Needed on Finishing Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant - 12196},
author = {Dahl, Suzanne and Biyani, Rabindra and Holmes, Erika},
abstractNote = {The United States Department of Energy's (US DOE's) Hanford Nuclear Site has 177 underground waste storage tanks located 19 to 24 km (12 to 15 miles) from the Columbia River in south-central Washington State. Hanford's tanks now hold about 212,000 cu m (56 million gallons) of highly radioactive and chemically hazardous waste. Sixty-seven tanks have leaked an estimated 3,785 cu m (1 million gallons) of this waste into the surrounding soil. Further releases to soil, groundwater, and the Columbia River are the inevitable result of the tanks continuing to age. The risk from this waste is recognized as a threat to the Northwest by both State and Federal governments. US DOE and Bechtel National, Inc., are building the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) to treat and vitrify (immobilize in glass) the waste from Hanford's tanks. As is usual for any groundbreaking project, problems have arisen that must be resolved as they occur if treatment is to take place as specified in the court-enforceable Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement) and the Consent Decree, entered into by US DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). At times, US DOE's approach to solving these critical issues seems to have caused undue wastes of time, energy, and, ultimately, public funds. Upon reviewing the history of Hanford's tank waste treatment project, Ecology hopes that constructive criticism of past failures and praise of successes will inspire US DOE to consider changing practices, be more transparent with regulatory agencies and the public, and take a 'lean production' approach to successfully completing this project. All three Tri-Party Agreement agencies share the goal of completing WTP on time, ensuring it is operational and in compliance with safety standards. To do this, Ecology believes US DOE should: - Maintain focus on the primary goal of completing the five major facilities of WTP. - Construct a supplemental low-activity waste (LAW) vitrification facility for the two-thirds balance of LAW that will not be treated by the vitrification facility under construction. - Prepare infrastructure for waste feed from the tanks and facilities to handle the WTP waste streams. To support this project track, Ecology expedites dangerous waste permitting by using a design-build approach to integrate WTP into the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit for Hanford. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share: