Workers at the Savannah River Site’s F Tank Farm (FTF) are preparing to close radioactive waste tanks, according to a March 2 release from SRS. The last time a waste tank was closed at the farm was in April 2016.
The FTF is a 22-acre site that contains 22 of the 51 tanks spanning two SRS tank farms. (The separate-site H Tank Farm houses the remaining 29 tanks.) The FTF’s 22 tanks are below-grade, carbon steel and reinforced concrete tanks that store or previously have stored liquid radioactive waste generated at SRS, in South Carolina.
Equipment connectors: Two pieces of equipment used in the closure process are known as Diversion Boxes 5 and 6. Each box can connect waste tanks to numerous destinations by way of a series of nozzles and pipes that direct the liquid waste between waste tanks or between a waste tank and a facility.
The diversion boxes, which have been out of operation for more than 30 years, are each about 15 feet long, 11 feet wide, and 18 feet deep. They sit on approximately 4-foot-thick concrete slabs about 100 yards apart in the center of the FTF. Altogether, the tank farms contain 14 diversion boxes.
After use: Once the boxes have completed their task by the goal date of 2022, they will be closed by filling them with a cement-like grout. Diversion Box 5 will require about 94 cubic yards—or about 12 truckloads—of grout; Diversion Box 6, which is slightly larger, will require nearly 113 cubic yards of grout.
Closure of the boxes, along with the operational closure of waste tanks and other structures, ultimately will lead to the closure of the entire FTF.