BOMB PLANT NEWS | Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has issued its “first periodic Report to Congress on Infrastructure Needs in the Department of Energy’s Aging Defense Nuclear Facilities.”  Below are the excerpts on aging issued related to the H-Canyon reprocessing plant and the tanks containing radioactive nuclear waste.  These are the main things at SRS we need to keep a close eye on for accidental release of radioactive material or accidents harming workers or the public (till the MOX plant stats operation…if it ever does…..hope not…).  Tom Clements   

http://www.hss.energy.gov/deprep/2010/FB10S10A.PDF  

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress  

September 10, 2010  

To the Congress of the United States:  

“The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to rely on aging facilities to carry out hazardous production missions. Examples of this persistent problem include the 9212 Complex at the Y-12 National Security Complex (portions of which are more than 60 years old), the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) Facility at Los Alamos (55 years old), and the first high-level waste tanks built at the Hanford and Savannah River Sites (up to 56 years old). There are other examples of degrading and aging facilities that will require significant capital expenditures for replacement or for repair and upgrade of key systems.”  

MOST SIGNIFICANT SAFETY-RELATED INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES  

Savannah River Site, H-Canyon – Aging Systems and Structures  

“The board encouraged DOE to continue aging management evaluations of H-Canyon and adopt a strategy to address age-related degradation. Components showing localized degradation include canyon wall concrete, the sand filter cileing, electrical wiring, and the canyon roof liner.”

Savannah River Site, Concentration, Storage, and Transfer Facility (Tank Farms)Aging Tanks and Systems:  

“DOE continues to store liquid wastes in some of the old noncompliant tanks.  DOE expects these old tanks will contain waste through 2018.  Support systems require increased attention for monitoring and repair.  The Board issued a letter dated January 6, 2010, encouraging DOE to develop more efficient tank inspection techniques.

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