WELDER COMPLETES WORK ON A PORT IN THE CERAMIC MELTER AT THE WEST VALLEY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.
BETWEEN 1966 AND 1972, SOME 600 METRIC TONS OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL WERE REPROCESSED AT THE NUCLEAR FUEL SERVICES, INC. PLANT IN WEST VALLEY, NEW YORK. THE FUEL RODS WERE CONVERTED INTO A SLUDGE WHICH WAS STORED IN UNDERGROUND TANKS ON THE SITE. AT THE TIME OF THE PLANT'S CLOSING, 600,000 GALLONS OF HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE LIQUID WASTE WERE STORED IN THE TANKS. TODAY, THE FACILITY, RENAMED THE WEST VALLEY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT, IS BEING USED TO ILLUSTRATE TECHNIQUES FOR THE SOLIDIFICATION AND PREPARATION OF HIGH-LEVEL WASTE FOR PERMANENT DISPOSAL. TECHNICIANS WILL CONVERT THE RADIOACTIVE SLUDGE INTO A SAFE GLASS SOLID (BOROSILICATE GLASS) USING A SLURRY-FED CERAMIC MELTER. SELECTED AREAS OF THE REPROCESSING FACILITY ARE BEING DECONTAMINATED AND MODI-FIED FOR THE PROJECT, AND PLANNING HAS BEEN COMPLETED FOR MAJOR REFURBISHMENTS IN OTHER KEY AREAS NEEDED TO SUPPORT IT. SOLIDIFICATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL WASTES AT WEST VALLEY IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN 1990.
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June 6, 2014
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