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Title: DECOMMISSIONING THE PHYSICS LABORATORY, BUILDING 777-10A, AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS)

Abstract

SRS recently completed a four-year mission to decommission {approx}250 excess facilities. As part of that effort, SRS decommissioned a 48,000 ft{sup 2} laboratory that housed four low-power test reactors, formerly used by SRS to determine reactor physics. This paper describes and reviews the decommissioning, with a focus on component segmentation and handling (i.e. hazardous material removal, demolition, and waste handling). The paper is intended to be a resource for engineers, planners, and project managers who face similar decommissioning challenges.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
898366
Report Number(s):
WSRC-MS-2007-00009
TRN: US0701621
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: American Nuclear Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; DECOMMISSIONING; DEMOLITION; ENGINEERS; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; PHYSICS; REACTOR PHYSICS; REMOVAL; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; TEST REACTORS; WASTES

Citation Formats

Musall, J, and Cathy Sizemore, C. DECOMMISSIONING THE PHYSICS LABORATORY, BUILDING 777-10A, AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS). United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Musall, J, & Cathy Sizemore, C. DECOMMISSIONING THE PHYSICS LABORATORY, BUILDING 777-10A, AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS). United States.
Musall, J, and Cathy Sizemore, C. Wed . "DECOMMISSIONING THE PHYSICS LABORATORY, BUILDING 777-10A, AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS)". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/898366.
@article{osti_898366,
title = {DECOMMISSIONING THE PHYSICS LABORATORY, BUILDING 777-10A, AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS)},
author = {Musall, J and Cathy Sizemore, C},
abstractNote = {SRS recently completed a four-year mission to decommission {approx}250 excess facilities. As part of that effort, SRS decommissioned a 48,000 ft{sup 2} laboratory that housed four low-power test reactors, formerly used by SRS to determine reactor physics. This paper describes and reviews the decommissioning, with a focus on component segmentation and handling (i.e. hazardous material removal, demolition, and waste handling). The paper is intended to be a resource for engineers, planners, and project managers who face similar decommissioning challenges.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Wed Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • SRS recently completed a four year mission to decommission {approx}250 excess facilities. As part of that effort, SRS decommissioned a 48,000 ft{sup 2} laboratory that housed four low-power test reactors, formerly used by SRS to determine reactor physics. This paper describes and reviews the decommissioning, with a focus on component segmentation and handling (i.e. hazardous material removal, demolition, and waste handling). The paper is intended to be a resource for engineers, planners, and project managers, who face similar decommissioning challenges. Building 777-10A, located at the south end of SRS's A/M-Area, was built in 1953 and had a gross area of {approx}48,000 ft{sup 2}. Building 777-10A had two main areas: a west wing, which housed four experimental reactors and associated equipment; and an east wing, which housed laboratories, and shops, offices. The reactors were located in two separate areas: one area housed the Process Development Pile (PDP) reactor and the Lattice Test Reactor (LTR), while the second area housed the Standard Pile (SP) and the Sub-critical Experiment (SE) reactors. The west wing had five levels: three below and three above grade (floor elevations of -37', -28', -15', 0', +13'/+16' and +27' (roof elevation of +62')), while the east wing had two levels: one below and one above grade (floor elevations of -15' and 0' (roof elevation of +16')). Below-grade exterior walls were constructed of reinforced concrete, {approx}1' thick. In general, above-grade exterior walls were steel frames covered by insulation and corrugated, asbestos-cement board. The two interior walls around the PDP/LTR were reinforced concrete {approx}5' thick and {approx}30' high, while the SP/SE reactors resided in a reinforced, concrete cell with 3.5'-6' thick walls/roof. All other interior walls were constructed of metal studs covered with either asbestos-cement or gypsum board. In general, the floors were constructed of reinforced concrete on cast-in-place concrete beams below-grade and concrete on metal beams above-grade. The roofs were flat concrete slabs on metal beams. Building 777-10A was an important SRS research and development location. The reactors helped determine safe operational limits and loading patterns for fuel used in the SRS production reactors, and supported various low power reactor physics studies. All four reactors were shut down and de-inventoried in the 1970's. The building was DD and R 2007, Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 16-19, 2007 169 subsequently used by various SRS organizations for office space, audio/visual studio, and computer network hub. SRS successfully decommissioned Building 777-10A over a thirty month period at a cost of {approx}more » $$14 M ({approx}$$290/ft{sup 2}). The decommissioning was a complex and difficult effort due to the building's radiological contamination, height, extensive basement, and thick concrete walls. Extensive planning and extensive hazard analysis (e.g. of structural loads/modifications leading to unplanned collapse) ensured the decommissioning was completed safely and without incident. The decommissioning met contract standards for residual contamination and physical/chemical hazards, and was the last in a series of decommissioning projects that prepared the lower A/M-Area for SRS's environmental restoration program.« less
  • Building 247-F at SRS was a roughly 110,000 ft{sup 2} two-story facility designed and constructed during the height of the cold war naval buildup to provide additional naval nuclear fuel manufacturing capacity in early 1980's. The manufacturing process employed a wide variety of acids, bases, and other hazardous materials. As the need for naval fuel declined, the facility was shut down and underwent initial deactivation, which was completed in 1990. All process systems were flushed with water and drained using the existing process drain valves. However, since these drains were not always installed at the lowest point in piping andmore » equipment systems, a significant volume of liquid remained after initial deactivation. After initial deactivation, a non-destructive assay of the process area identified approximately 17 ({+-}100%) kg of uranium held up in equipment and piping. The facility was placed in Surveillance and Maintenance mode until 2003, when the decision was made to perform final deactivation, and then decommission the facility. The following lessons were learned as a result of the D and D of building 247-F. Successful D and D of a major radiochemical process building requires significant up-front planning by a team of knowledgeable personnel led by a strong project manager. The level of uncertainty and resultant risk to timely, cost effective project execution was found to be high. Examples of the types of problems encountered which had high potential to adversely impact cost and schedule performance are described below. Low level and sanitary waste acceptance criteria do not allow free liquids in waste containers. These liquids, which are often corrosive, must be safely removed from the equipment before it is loaded to waste containers. Drained liquids must be properly managed, often as hazardous or mixed waste. Tapping and draining of process lines is a dangerous operation, which must be performed carefully. The temptation to become complacent when breaking into lines is great. Incidents of personnel exposure to liquids during draining are likely. Records from the initial 1990 deactivation led early work planners to assume the facility was cold, dark and dry. This turned out to be a poor assumption. Work instructions had to be modified to require that engineers evaluate each of several hundred process lines to identify the low point, where a tap and drain system could be installed to allow positive verification that the line was empty before the line was cut for removal. During the period between facility shut down in 1990 and the start of final deactivation in 2003, roof leaks had developed, allowing rain water to enter building 247-F, which provided an environment for mold growth. Sampling confirmed the presence of Stachybotrys chartarum, a toxic indoor mold that grows on wet cellulosic material, such as drywall paper. D and D workers in areas where this hazard was identified were required to where proper personal protective equipment, which complicated work execution. Discovery of the potential presence of uniquely hazardous chemicals such as shock sensitive compounds and toxic uranium hexafluoride became issues which required investigation and special handling strategies. Team access to subject matter experts, who could quickly provide the required guidance for safe material handling, was critical to keeping the project on schedule. In old legacy facilities, it is possible that the D and D workers will be exposed to undocumented energy sources such as energized electrical conductors and pipes containing hazardous materials that originate outside the boundaries of the facility. Significant effort must be expended on adequate mechanical and electrical isolation. Subdividing the facility into well defined zones for which detailed zone-specific end points could be developed proved to be a highly effective project management strategy. Waste management must be carefully planned. The rate of waste generation as the facility is converted from a structure to waste can frequently exceed the D and D team's resources to characterize, package, store and transport the waste to a disposal facility in a timely manner. This can lead to schedule delays and/or increased project cost.« less
  • The United Kingdom's National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has developed a radiation-mapping device that can locate and quantify radioactive hazards within contaminated areas of the nuclear industry. The device, known as RadBall{trademark}, consists of a colander-like outer collimator that houses a radiation-sensitive polymer sphere. The collimator has over two hundred small holes; thus, specific areas of the polymer sphere are exposed to radiation becoming increasingly more opaque in proportion to the absorbed dose. The polymer sphere is imaged in an optical-CT scanner that produces a high resolution 3D map of optical attenuation coefficients. Subsequent analysis of the optical attenuation data providesmore » information on the spatial distribution of sources in a given area forming a 3D characterization of the area of interest. The RadBallTM technology has been deployed in a number of technology trials in nuclear waste reprocessing plants at Sellafield in the United Kingdom and facilities of the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). This paper summarizes the tests completed at SRNL Health Physics Instrument Calibration Laboratory (HPICL).« less
  • What may be the largest chemical process flowsheet model built in the world is described in this paper. This computer model consists of 161 components, per stream, over 1000 streams, more than 400 unit operation blocks, more than 200 chemical reactions, eight recycle loops, 34 user-added subroutines, and three separate physical property sets. We discuss why such models are necessary, how to build them, and how to use them. This model simulates processing of defense waste at the Savannah River Site (SRS). It has played a vital role in the design, construction, and permit applications for the DWPF and ancillarymore » facilities that are being built at the SRS at a cost of more than $1 billion. Waste Processing at SRS will incorporate radioactive components into glass waste forms suitable for long-term geological disposal. Decontaminated soluble components will be incorporated into grout for disposal. Using an integrated approach, the various processes to be used at SRS are combined into a single model to help assure that changes in one process will not adversely affect other processes. Separate modules were developed for the model to simulate salt decontamination, in-tank sludge processing, decontaminated salt processing, preparation of melter feed, vitrification, off-gas processing, byproducts processing and wastestream treatment. 4 refs., 1 fig.« less
  • The Environmental Restoration (ER) Program has continued to achieve significant accomplishments important to the mission of cleaning up inactive waste sites, performing corrective actions on contaminated groundwater, planning for decontaminating/decommissioning surplus facilities and ensuring that the environment and the health and safety of people are protected. The multifaceted cleanup at SRS represents noteworthy milestones across the DOE complex. The associated lessons learned and key elements of the progress will be presented in the course of the paper.