DRAINING HAZARDOUS FLUIDS DURING BUILDING 221-1F DEACTIVATION AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE Page: 2 of 5
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DRAINING HAZARDOUS FLUIDS DURING BUILDING 221-1F
DEACTIVATION AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE (SRS)
John C. Musall
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
Savannah River Site
Aiken, South Carolina 29802
Several years ago, SRS completed a four year
mission to decommission -250 excess facilities. As part
of that effort, SRS deactivated multiple facilities (e.g.
Building 247-F, Naval Fuels Facility, and Building 211-
F, Outside Facilities for F-Canyon) that contained
extensive piping systems filled with hazardous material
(e.g. nitric acid). Draining of hazardous materials from
piping was successfully completed in all facilities without
incident. In early 2009, the decommissioning program at
SRS was restarted as a result of funding made available
by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Under ARRA, draining of piping containing hazardous
material was initiated in multiple facilities including
Building 221-IF (or A-Line). This paper describes and
reviews the draining of piping containing hazardous
materials at A-Line, with emphasis on an incident
involving the draining of nitric acid. The paper is
intended to be a resource for engineers, planners, and
project managers, who face similar draining challenges.
In early 2009, the decommissioning program at SRS
was restarted as a result of funding made available by the
ARRA. Using the ARRA funding, SRS restarted
deactivation of A-Line where deactivation included the
draining of piping containing hazardous material (e.g.
nitric acid). Removal of hazardous material from A-Line
would prepare the facility for decommissioning (i.e.
demolition), which would take the facility to its final end
Building 221-1F (also known as A-Line) is located
adjacent to and southeast of F-Canyon in F-Area of the
SRS. Previously, F-Canyon discharged uranyl nitrate
solutions to A-Line, and A-Line converted the solutions
to (depleted) uranium trioxide powder for long-term
storage in drums elsewhere at SRS. A-Line has a
footprint of approximately 12,500 square feet over three
main floors and an extensive yard with multiple vessels
and extensive piping systems.
FIGURE 1 - Building 221-1F, A-Line
A-Line was built in the early 50's and operated more or
less continuously through the early 1990's when it was
shutdown. A-Line then entered a period of surveillance
and maintenance until approximately 2002, when it was
initially deactivated concurrent with F-Canyon
During the initial deactivation (Phase 1) from 2002 to
2005, typical deactivation activities were completed
including the deinventory of chemicals and solutions and
the flushing of piping and process vessels. Based on the
Phase 1 deactivation, piping was believed to be flushed
and drained. During subsequent deactivation initiated in
2006 (Phase II), SRS expected to encounter only minor
quantities of fluid. For piping formerly containing nitric
acid, SRS expected only mildly acidic fluids. The intent
of the Phase II deactivation was to further reduce hazards
in the facility. Phase II deactivation included the
following example deactivation end points:
" Formal mechanical isolation of A-Line that
included draining of piping and local air gapping
of the piping
" Extensive equipment dismantlement and removal
(further deinventory of piping and vessels that
would result in a facility downgrade ("nuclear"
reduced to "radiological" or "other industrial").
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Musall, J. DRAINING HAZARDOUS FLUIDS DURING BUILDING 221-1F DEACTIVATION AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, article, May 11, 2010; South Carolina. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc930111/m1/2/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.