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Title: DECOMMISSIONING OF THE 247-F FUEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

Abstract

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 1980s. The building layout is shown in Fig. 1. A photograph of the facility is shown in Fig. 2. The manufacturing process employed a wide variety of acids, bases, and other hazardous materials. As the cold war wound down, the need for naval fuel declined. Consequently, the facility was shut down and underwent initial deactivation. 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 and equipment systems, a significant volume of liquid remained after initial deactivation was completed in 1990. At that time, a non-destructive assay of the process area identified approximately 17 (+/- 100%) kg of uranium held up in equipment and piping.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SRS
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
908027
Report Number(s):
SDD-2007-00165
TRN: US0703385
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2007 ANS Conference on Decommissioning, Decontamination,and Reutilization
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; BUILDUP; CAPACITY; DEACTIVATION; DECOMMISSIONING; DECONTAMINATION; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; IMAGES; MANUFACTURING; NUCLEAR FUELS; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; URANIUM; VALVES; WATER

Citation Formats

Santos, J, and Stephen Chostner, S. DECOMMISSIONING OF THE 247-F FUEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Santos, J, & Stephen Chostner, S. DECOMMISSIONING OF THE 247-F FUEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE. United States.
Santos, J, and Stephen Chostner, S. Tue . "DECOMMISSIONING OF THE 247-F FUEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/908027.
@article{osti_908027,
title = {DECOMMISSIONING OF THE 247-F FUEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE},
author = {Santos, J and Stephen Chostner, S},
abstractNote = {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 1980s. The building layout is shown in Fig. 1. A photograph of the facility is shown in Fig. 2. The manufacturing process employed a wide variety of acids, bases, and other hazardous materials. As the cold war wound down, the need for naval fuel declined. Consequently, the facility was shut down and underwent initial deactivation. 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 and equipment systems, a significant volume of liquid remained after initial deactivation was completed in 1990. At that time, a non-destructive assay of the process area identified approximately 17 (+/- 100%) kg of uranium held up in equipment and piping.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 22 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 22 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • 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 Savannah River Site (SRS) has been actively proceeding with the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of various facilities and structures which were instrumental in the success of past missions at the site. The most ambitious of these efforts involves the subcontracting of the complete D&D of the first SRS Tritium Extraction Facility, identified as building 232-F. This facility operated in the mid 1950`s and discontinued operations permanently in 1958. The approach utilized for this effort attempts to invoke the novel principle of {open_quotes}As Commercial As Reasonably Achievable{close_quotes} or {open_quotes}ACARA{close_quotes}. This concept of ACARA applies only the minimum essential requirements necessarymore » to successfully perform the D&D task. Integral to this approach is the subcontractor provision for maximum flexibility in the identification of and adherence to the requirements of applicable DOE Orders, federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as site specific procedures without violating the site contractual requirements. The technical specification prepared for this effort provides the basis for a competitively bid contract to perform the entire D&D evolution, including initial facility characterization, waste stream characterization and certification, D&D and waste disposal. Preparation and development of this specification and the subsequent Request For Proposal (RFP) was a successful team oriented endeavor. The schedule for this fast-track undertaking took three months to complete. Successful initiation of this task will be the first D&D of a facility containing both radioactive and hazardous material at an operating site within the DOE Weapons Complex. The strategy for preparing the D&D subcontract for the 232-F structure was facilitated by applying the ACARA principle. This approach resulted in the accelerated development of the specification and RFP documents, as well as minimized the complexities of proposal evaluations.« less
  • Savannah River Site is an 800-square kilometer (310-square mile) U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) industrial facility located in Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell Counties in South Carolina. The site is dedicated to environmental cleanup, developing and deploying technologies to support the cleanup mission, processing and storing nuclear materials, and supporting national security missions. The current focus in environmental management is on the cleanup of legacy materials, facilities and wastes left from the Cold War. In 2002 the DOE initiated actions to expedite cleanup focusing on significant risk reduction coupled with reducing costs. SRS published the Savannah River Site Environmental Management Integratedmore » Deactivation and Decommissioning Plan in 2003 which addressed the final disposition and physical end state of all 1,013 Environmental Management facilities on site by the year 2025. Included in this list of facilities are reactors, fabrication facilities, process facilities and the support facilities that were required during the past 50 years. By the end of FY06, over 200 facilities had been decommissioned. This paper describes the demolition of two facilities, cooling towers 285-H and 285-F that were associated with the operation of the process canyons. Because of the circumstances surrounding these decommissions, unique and unusual techniques were safely employed to demolish and remove the cooling towers. Both 285-H and 285-F were safely felled by pulling the columns remotely to weaken the internal portion of the structure so it would collapse inwards into the basin. Cooling tower 285-H fell in less than 1 second after approximately two-thirds of the columns had been broken. See Figure 3 for a photo of 285-H after its collapse. 285-F, which was larger than 285-H, fell in three sections, two cells at a time. Once the towers were felled conventional demolition equipment was used to segregate and remove the debris. All protective measures used to protect surrounding equipment and structures were successful and the basins were cleaned out and returned to service in less than two weeks. The demolition of both cooling towers 285- H and 285-F was completed safely and timely using unconventional means to fell the towers due to structural degradation, height, limited access, radiological and asbestos hazards, and a requirement to protect equipment on all sides of the facility as well as preservation of the basins. During felling operations personnel were required to stay outside the fall zone equivalent to a distance of 150% of the height of the towers. Remote operations outside the fall zone required a tracked vehicle to pull cables attached to the columns in a predetermined sequence so as to fell the tower straight down into the basin. Once the towers fell traditional demolition equipment segregated and removed the waste. Wooden cooling towers of this vintage present a difficult challenge to traditional demolition techniques. Because of the height and potential instability of these types of facilities, considerable effort is placed on reducing the potential energy to a point where heavy equipment can reach safely without endangering the operators. The column-pulling technique chosen for both 285-H and 285-F cooling towers proved to be a safe and efficient method for demolition of these types of facilities.« less
  • In February 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated actions to expedite Cleanup, focus on significant and early risk reduction, and reduce costs at the Savannah River Site (SRS). In response SRS started on a project focused on completing the decommissioning of inactive facilities in T, D, and M Areas, areas that on the perimeter of the Site, by the end of 2006. In June 2003, the Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 (EPA-4) endorsed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) concerningmore » cleanup at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The vision of the Agreement is that SRS will reduce its operations footprint to establish a buffer zone at the perimeter if the Site, while the central core area of the Site will be reserved for continuing or future long-term operations. DOE-SR, EPA-4, and SCDHEC agreed that establishing this buffer zone and appropriately sequencing environmental restoration and decommissioning activities can lead to greater efficiency and accelerate completion of entire site areas. This vision is embodied in the concept of Area Completion--which integrated operations, deactivation and decommissioning (D&D), and soils and groundwater cleanup into a time-phased approach to completing all the work necessary to address the Cold War legacy. D&D addresses the ''footprint'' of the building or structure, while the soils and groundwater project addresses any environmental remediation that may be required in the underlying and surrounding soils and groundwater. Since then, {approx}250 facilities have been decommissioned at the SRS, ranging from guard stations to nuclear fuel production facilities.« less
  • In February 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated actions to expedite Cleanup, focus on significant and early risk reduction, and reduce costs at the Savannah River Site (SRS). In response SRS started on a project focused on completing the decommissioning of inactive facilities in T, D, and M Areas, areas that are on the perimeter of the Site, by the end of 2006. In June 2003, the Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office (DOE-SR), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 (EPA-4) endorsed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)more » concerning cleanup at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The vision of the Agreement is that SRS will reduce its operations footprint to establish a buffer zone at the perimeter of the Site, while the central core area of the Site will be reserved for continuing or future long-term operations. DOE-SR, EPA-4, and SCDHEC agreed that establishing this buffer zone and appropriately sequencing environmental restoration and decommissioning activities can lead to greater efficiency and accelerate completion of entire site areas. This vision is embodied in the concept of Area Completion - which integrated operations, deactivation and decommissioning (D and D), and soils and groundwater cleanup into a time-phased approach to completing all the work necessary to address the Cold War legacy. D and D addresses the 'footprint' of the building or structure, while the soils and groundwater project addresses any environmental remediation that may be required in the underlying and surrounding soils and groundwater. Since then, {approx}250 facilities have been decommissioned at the SRS, ranging from guard stations to nuclear fuel production facilities. The efforts made up front to develop the MOA and maintain open and active involvement with the EPA and SCDHEC was instrumental to the success of the SRS D and D Project. Accelerated D and D requires innovative regulatory approaches so that time and resources are spent commensurate with the hazards of the facilities being decommissioned. The graded approach developed at SRS accomplished a balance between building hazards and the amount of regulatory and public involvement.« less