Description: The Heavy Water Components Test Reactor (HWCTR) Decommissioning Project was initiated in 2009 as a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) Removal Action with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This paper summarizes the history prior to 2009, the major D&D activities, and final end state of the facility at completion of decommissioning in June 2011. The HWCTR facility was built in 1961, operated from 1962 to 1964, and is located in the northwest quadrant of the Savannah River Site (SRS) approximately three miles from the site boundary. The HWCTR was a pressurized heavy water test reactor used to develop candidate fuel designs for heavy water power reactors. In December of 1964, operations were terminated and the facility was placed in a standby condition as a result of the decision by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to redirect research and development work on heavy water power reactors to reactors cooled with organic materials. For about one year, site personnel maintained the facility in a standby status, and then retired the reactor in place. In the early 1990s, DOE began planning to decommission HWCTR. Yet, in the face of new budget constraints, DOE deferred dismantlement and placed HWCTR in an extended surveillance and maintenance mode. The doors of the reactor facility were welded shut to protect workers and discourage intruders. In 2009 the $1.6 billion allocation from the ARRA to SRS for site footprint reduction at SRS reopened the doors to HWCTR - this time for final decommissioning. Alternative studies concluded that the most environmentally safe, cost effective option for final decommissioning was to remove the reactor vessel, both steam generators, and all equipment above grade including the dome. The transfer coffin, originally above grade, was to be placed in the cavity vacated by the reactor ...
Date: October 13, 2011
Creator: Austin, W. & Brinkley, D.
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