For Immediate Release
Contact: Dennis Hill
Oak Ridge, Tenn., September 14, 2011 – URS | CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) on Monday began excavation of a 4,000-gallon stainless steel waste tank at the former main campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This action will eliminate a known source of contaminants being released to the groundwater.
The removal of Tank W-1A also includes excavation of approximately 355 cubic yards of soil and associated secondary waste. The soils will be packaged in lead-lined boxes and shipped off site for disposal because they will not meet the waste acceptance requirements for the on-site disposal facility.
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.
The 7.5 foot diameter by 13.5 foot long tank was installed horizontally on top of a concrete foundation pad with two concrete saddles. It weighs approximately 6,500 lbs, and is buried about 10 feet below ground surface. Once removed, the tank will be packaged and shipped to a commercial facility at the East Tennessee Technology Park for size reduction and repackaging, then shipped off site for disposal.
After the contaminated soils and tank are removed and the concrete saddles and pad are broken up into rubble, the excavation site will be backfilled.
Completion of the tank removal and backfill is planned for late 2011 with demobilization by mid March 2012. The $37.7 million project is being funded by the Department of Energy. Decommissioning and Environmental Management Company (DEMCO) is UCOR’s excavation subcontractor on the project.