Savannah River, Hanford collaborate on tank waste workshop

August 7, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Some of the participants of the recent SRNL-Hanford Analytical Knowledge Sharing Workshop pause for a photo. (Photo: DOE)

More than 100 people from Savannah River National Laboratory and the Hanford Site participated recently in a workshop to share analytical knowledge focused on the cleanup of radioactive tank waste at Department of Energy sites.

The event: Workshop goals included sharing knowledge on tank waste analytical methods and strategies needed for waste batch qualification while keeping the analysts’ exposure to radiation as low as reasonably achievable. The workshop provided a forum for researchers to exchange details, optimize analytical methods, and share lessons learned and planned improvements.

SRNL has worked for years to qualify batches of waste for both the Defense Waste Processing Facility and the pretreatment processes at the Savannah River Site and has made improvements to the analytical methods, according to the DOE. The methods used by SRNL were described so that they could be adapted for use at Hanford’s 222-S Laboratory as the Office of River Protection accelerates tank waste retrieval and treatment.

The meeting was followed by a tour of the 222-S Laboratory, which gave SRNL researchers an opportunity to better understand capabilities and limitations of the instruments and facilities there, and which will in turn facilitate more detailed discussions.

Brought to you by: SRNL partnered with Hanford Site contractors Navarro-ATL and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) to create the workshop, which was sponsored by SRNL, the DOE’s Laboratory Policy Office, the ORP, and WRPS. The event was hosted by Navarro-ATL. Also joining the workshop were Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Waste Treatment Completion Company, a subcontractor to Bechtel National, which is designing, building, and commissioning the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant for ORP.

Coming next: The DOE said that the workshop is expected to be the first in a series between the labs to continue optimizing analytical methods for tank waste batch qualification and to identify and find solutions to knowledge gaps affecting the ability to meet waste acceptance criteria for the treatment facilities.

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