Clean up workers at the Idaho National Laboratory site announced this week they are re-purposing the facility over Pit-9.
Pit-9 accepted radioactive and hazardous waste from 1967-1969. A facility was built over the pit in 2010, which was used to recover and repackage contents from drums containing radioactive and hazardous waste.
The CWI said that project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
This week the same building over the pit is being re-purposed to treat 6,000 drums of sludge and liquid waste left over from the Cold War weapons program.
CWI spokesman Erik Simpson said, “Currently what we’ve done is we’ve re-purposed the facility that’s over the top of Pit-9 and we’ve constructed a secondary containment system within the facility to protect the environment as we open and treat sludge containing waste.”
The project launched this week and Simpson said it is a good demonstration of cooperation between two site contractors, the Idaho Treatment Group and the CWI as well as the Idaho Department of Environment Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“So we have great collaboration between agencies and contractors and the ultimate benefactor in that is the taxpayer, because using this facility, this existing facility, will save the taxpayer millions of dollars,” said Simpson.
Workers at the facility will have the advantage of using a building with state-of-the-art filtration system designed to open and treat the contents of the drums.
“You get that benefit that we’re reusing a building that would have otherwise been eventually torn down and the Department of Energy would have to construct a new Resource Conversation Recovery Act-compliant building to treat these 6,000 sludge drums,” Simpson said.
The project is on schedule to be completed in the spring of 2014.