HANFORD DECOMMISSIONING UPDATE 09/2007

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Fluor Hanford's K Basins Closure (KBC) Project tallied three major accomplishments at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State this past summer. The Project finished emptying the aging K East Basin of both sludge and the last pieces of scrap spent nuclear fuel. It also Completed vacuuming the bulk of the sludge in the K West Basin into underwater containers. The 54-year-old concrete basins once held more than four million pounds of spent nuclear fuel and sit less than 400 yards from the Columbia River. Each basin holds more than a million gallons of radioactive ... continued below

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GERBER, M.S. August 20, 2007.

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  • Hanford Site (Wash.)
    Publisher Info: Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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Fluor Hanford's K Basins Closure (KBC) Project tallied three major accomplishments at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State this past summer. The Project finished emptying the aging K East Basin of both sludge and the last pieces of scrap spent nuclear fuel. It also Completed vacuuming the bulk of the sludge in the K West Basin into underwater containers. The 54-year-old concrete basins once held more than four million pounds of spent nuclear fuel and sit less than 400 yards from the Columbia River. Each basin holds more than a million gallons of radioactive water. In 2004, Fluor finished removing all the spent nuclear fuel from the K Basins. Nearly 50 cubic meters of sludge remained--a combination of dirt, sand, small pieces of corroded uranium fuel and fuel cladding, corrosion products from racks and canisters, ion-exchange resin beads, polychlorinated biphenyls, and fission products that had formed during the decades that the spent nuclear fuel was stored underwater. Capturing the sludge into underwater containers in the K East Basin took more than two years, and vacuuming the much smaller volume of sludge into containers in the K West Basin required seven months. Workers stood on grating above the basin water and vacuumed the sludge through long, heavy hoses. The work was complicated by murky water and contaminated solid waste (debris). Pumping was paused several times to safely remove and package debris that totaled more than 370 tons. In October 2006, Fluor Hanford workers began pumping the sludge captured in the K East Basin containers out through a specially designed pipeline to underwater containers in the K West Basin, about a half mile away. They used a heavy but flexible, double-walled ''hose-in-hose'' system. Pumping work progressed slowly at first, but ramped up in spring 2007 and was completed on May 31. Just a week before sludge transfers finished, the KBC Project removed the last few small pieces of irradiated fuel (about 19 pounds) found as the last remnants of sludge were vacuumed up. The fuel was loaded into a cask that sat underwater. The cask was hoisted out of the water, decontaminated, and transported to the K West Basin, where it is now being stored underwater until it can be dried and taken to storage in central Hanford. Removing the sludge and fuel from the K East Basin eliminated the final major radioactive sources there, and made the Columbia River and the adjacent environment safer for everyone who lives downstream. Fluor's priority at the K East Basin quickly turned to final preparations for demolishing the structure. Final activities to sort debris are progressing, along with plans to de-water the basin and turn it to rubble in the next two years. At the K West Basin, after the bulk sludge was removed July 3, workers began preparing to load out the last of the ''found'' nuclear fuel and to complete final pass sludge collection this coming year.

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  • Journal Name: AMERICAN NUCLEAR SOCIETY (ANS) DD& R NEWSLETTER FALL 2007 EDITION; Journal Issue: FALL 2007

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  • Report No.: HNF-34812 REV 0
  • Grant Number: DE-AC06-96RL13200
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 913183
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc887462

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 20, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 9:02 p.m.

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GERBER, M.S. HANFORD DECOMMISSIONING UPDATE 09/2007, article, August 20, 2007; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc887462/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.