Radioactive waste tanks at Savannah River Site operationally closed

Closed for Business

Two underground liquid radioactive waste tanks at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina have been removed from service.

The U.S. Department of Energy said grouting and closure of Tanks 5 and 6 was completed two years ahead of schedule on Dec. 18. An agreement with the DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control required the operational closure of Tanks 5 and 6 by December 2015. Tanks 18 and 19 were operationally closed in October 2012.

Tanks 5 and 6 were constructed in the early 1950s and placed into service in 1959 and 1964, respectively. Both were used as receipt tanks for waste from the F Canyon separations operations, each holding approximately 730,000 gallons of waste. Grouting of the tanks began August 16, 2013, which helped to eliminate the risk associated with the legacy nuclear waste. More than 1.8 million gallons of specially formulated grout was poured into the tanks.

Savannah River Site now has 45 remaining underground waste tanks, with nine tanks in the waste removal or cleaning phases.

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