Workers change out spent 27,000-pound TSCR filter columns and place them on a nearby storage pad during a planned outage. (Photo: DOE)
Following a second planned maintenance outage, the Tank-Side Cesium Removal (TSCR) system at the Hanford Site in Washington state has resumed processing liquid tank waste, the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) announced on March 14.
According to EM, its Office of River Protection (ORP) and contractor Washington River Protection Solutions processed more than 25,000 gallons of waste during the previous week and has treated a total of 406,000 gallons of radioactive liquid waste since TSCR began operations early last year.
A key component in Hanford’s Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste program for treating tank waste, TSCR removes radioactive cesium and solids from tank waste and delivers low-activity waste to a nearby million-gallon tank, where it is staged until it can be fed to the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant for vitrification.
Outage improvements: During outages, workers change out filter columns that remove radioactive solids during waste processing, perform maintenance, and apply lessons learned from operations. According to EM, many improvements to the treatment system during outages over the past year came from recommendations made by workers and contractor and federal staff on the project team.
In addition to performing required maintenance during TSCR’s second planned maintenance outage, which began in July 2022, crews replaced a valve indicator, addressed two small leaks inside the treatment system, installed additional cameras inside the treatment enclosure to improve visibility for operators, and added an area for workers to put on and take off personal protective equipment.
Hanford workers talk about the challenges and rewards of working on the TSCR project in this video.
He said it: “The cesium removal system is a demonstration project, and this is the first time we are treating tank waste on an industrial scale at Hanford,” said Delmar Noyes, ORP assistant manager for the Tank Farms Project. “We are learning, strengthening our processes, and adding improvements that we can use in future, similar systems.”