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Public Domain Picture: A tanker truck dispenses caustic into C-104, the third of three tanks now in the process of active solid waste retrieval.

Courtesy: US Department of Energy
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A tanker truck dispenses caustic into C-104, the third of three tanks now in the process of active solid waste retrieval.
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A tanker truck dispenses caustic into C-104, the third of three tanks now in the process of active solid waste retrieval.
For the first time; waste solids are in the process of being retrieved simultaneously from three underground tanks: C-104; C-107 and C-109.Crews are working to remove the last bit of hard heel waste from C-104. Tuesday; crews began a four-week recirculation of caustic in the tank after 15; 000 gallons of sodium hydroxide were added the previous week to begin dissolution of the remaining hard heel. During the recirculation period; the caustic will react with the gibbsite to create a water-soluble salt. After the reaction is complete; the remaining material will be pumped to double-shell tank AN-101 and C-104 will undergo a final rinse.To date; crews have used modified sluicing and hot water washes to remove more than 98 percent of the 259; 000 gallons of waste C-104 contained when retrieval began in January 2010. The Tri-Party Agreement requires that 99 percent of the waste is removed from the single-shell tanks or certain criteria are met regarding limits of technology.Meanwhile; the Mobile Arm Retrieval System (MARS) marches on in tank C-107; having removed nearly 66 percent of the tank’s contents. MARS’ robotic arm has used its high-pressure nozzles to break up waste in C-107 and sweep it to a pump for removal. Its mobility has allowed operators to quickly and skillfully maneuver around obstacles found in the tank that would normally set back retrieval efforts a number of weeks.A third tank; C-109; is in the middle of a water soak aimed to loosen and break down waste solids into a mobile form. Recent sampling shows the hard-to-remove heel is dissolving and slurry pump activities are forecast to occur in July or August. It’s estimated that less than 14 percent of the original starting volume of 63; 000 gallons remains in the tank.All this activity is in addition to the completion of retrieval activities earlier this year in tank C-108; which is awaiting review by the Department of Ecology.
Date Added:
June 8, 2014
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US Department of Energy

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US Department of Energy (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: US Department of Energy
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