For Immediate Release
Contact: Dennis Hill
Oak Ridge, Tenn., Feb. 28, 2012 – Tank W-1A, an underground liquid waste storage tank at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been shipped off site for disposal, completing a process that began when the tank was removed from service after it was discovered it was leaking. The tank and contaminated soil together were the single biggest source of groundwater contamination at ORNL.
URS | CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) excavated and removed the tank on Jan. 6. The tank was packaged and sent to Philotechnics and Impact Services at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) for size reduction. Once that was completed, tank segments and related material were repackaged into nine lead-lined B-25 boxes for shipment off site for disposal.
“This is an important accomplishment for UCOR,” said Leo Sain, UCOR President and Project Manager. “I want to congratulate the managers and workers on the project for a job well done. Tank removal, subsequent handling and shipping required the utmost care and skill, and all those who worked on the project deserve our thanks for doing this work safely and efficiently.”
Tank W-1A was commissioned in 1951 to collect and store liquid wastes from radiochemical separations and high-radiation analytical facilities at ORNL. During its operation, a transfer line to the tank was suspected of leaking near the tank intake, causing significant soil and groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the tank. It was emptied and removed from service in 1986 after the leak was discovered.
Over the years, attempts to move the project forward and remove the tank were largely unsuccessful. In 1995 a system was installed to pump and treat the groundwater plume that originated from the tank helping to mitigate environmental impacts to the groundwater. That system continues to operate.
Field work on removal of Tank W-1A began anew in September 2011, shortly after UCOR assumed its responsibilities under the contract. In addition to the tank, dozens of boxes of contaminated soil that had surrounded it and other materials associated with the tank and its removal were shipped off site for disposal. The 4,000-gallon stainless steel tank was 7.5-feet in diameter and 13.5-feet long. It weighed 6,500 lbs. and was buried about 10 feet below the ground surface. Some additional excavation remains to be completed at the site before the hole from which the tank was removed is backfilled with grout, gravel and clean soil.
Decommissioning and Environmental Management Company (DEMCO) is UCOR’s excavation subcontractor on the project.
UCOR is DOE’s Environmental Management contractor at the Oak Ridge Reservation. The company is responsible for deactivation and demolition of the K-25 facility at ETTP, as well as other specific scopes of work at ETTP, the Y-12 National Security Site, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.