DOE Declares Construction Salt Waste Processing Facility Complete
AIKEN, S.C., June 7, 2016—The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that the Savannah River Site’s Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) is construction complete bringing the facility one step closer to full operation planned for late 2018.
“Completing construction safely and eight months ahead of the contractual requirement is a tremendous accomplishment and this achievement is truly a reflection of the skilled workforce we have here at SRS and across the complex,” said Jack Craig, DOE-SRS Manager. “While construction work is now complete, we are pushing forward to reach our shared goal of getting this facility into operation by 2018.”
Parsons notified the Department of Energy on April 22 that it had met its contractual requirements for declaring construction complete, kicking off a formal process under which DOE spent 30 days documenting and validating that construction was finished. DOE’s review was finished on May 26, 2016, confirming Parsons’ declaration. The milestone comes eight months ahead of the target schedule and more than $60 million under the target cost for construction activities from December 31, 2012, through the end of construction.
“This is a key milestone for the project and for our workforce, which has performed admirably by safely and efficiently completing construction activities on this facility,” said Frank Sheppard, Parsons Senior Vice President and SWPF Project Manager. “But more important, we are one step closer to our ultimate goal of beginning operations and accelerating the tank waste cleanup mission at the Savannah River Site.”
Now that construction is complete, DOE and Parsons are focusing on testing the plant’s systems and training the workforce to operate the plant in preparation for the start of operations. Once in operation, the SWPF will significantly increase processing rates at SRS tank farms in an effort to empty the site’s high-level radioactive waste tanks. The SWPF will be the key liquid waste facility for processing approximately 90 percent of the 36 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at SRS. It will separate the “salt” waste into a low-volume, highly radioactive solution that will be turned into glass in the Defense Waste Processing Facility and a high-volume, decontaminated salt solution for disposal as low-level waste in the Saltstone Facility.