Hanford waste tanks moved for disposal

February 16, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Two empty waste tanks weighing more than five tons each were transported from outside the Hanford Site’s Effluent Treatment Facility to an on-site landfill. (Photo: DOE)

Two large tanks near the Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in Washington state were removed recently to make way for future wastewater treatment activities at the ETF.

Overhead power lines needed to be lifted by electrical line workers to allow a trailer loaded with the empty tanks, which stand about two stories high, to pass on the way to Hanford’s on-site landfill. (Photo: DOE)

The removal work was done by DOE contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS), which provides services at the site that include transportation. An HMIS team worked with another DOE contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, to remove the tanks, each of which weighs more than five tons and stands about two stories high.

The tanks were driven seven miles to Hanford’s on-site landfill and disposed of.

The tanks once held contaminated wastewater from Hanford operations for treatment at the ETF, which is being upgraded and expanded to improve capacity and treatment capability in support of the DOE’s Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste Program. The tanks were no longer needed.

Planning: The work required months of planning, covering all aspects of disconnecting, removing, and disposing of the tanks. Once loaded on a trailer, the tanks extended higher than overhead power lines at some Hanford locations. A transport route was plotted to minimize the number of utility lines that would need to be raised for the tanks and trailer to pass.

“To some, raising power lines may look like a simple task, but in reality, it is hazardous work that requires careful teamwork,” said Rick Boarder, HMIS electrical utilities director.

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