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Test runs lead to improvements in waste treatment

Fluor Idaho crews are completing improvements to the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU). The Department of Energy Environmental Management contractor recently completed a 50-day demonstration of those improvements.

Another test run is planned before actual waste treatment operations begin.

During the most recent test, ITU converted more than 63,000 gallons of liquid simulant to a dry, granular solid.

“The takeaway from this and the previous 30-day demonstration runs is that the IWTU facility and its steam reforming technology works for liquid waste treatment,” said Archie Benner, IWTU nuclear facility manager with Fluor Idaho. “The plant operated as designed, and we’ll now focus on three key process improvements that are necessary to progress to the next level.”

The facility’s job is to treat 900,000 gallons of liquid waste from nearby underground waste tanks. The tanks hold rinse water and other effluents from historic spent nuclear fuel reprocessing. So far, the facility has treated approximately 225,000 gallons of liquid simulant during six demonstration runs.

IWTU engineers are working with a company to test a robotic arm for decontaminating stainless steel canisters that would be filled with treated waste once IWTU begins operating.

Testing continues on a new system to allow operators to decontaminate a cell, vessel, and piping without disassembling and manually cleaning them. A sump system would transfer the liquid decontamination solution from the cell for processing.

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