Department of Energy contractor Parsons recently completed construction of a $13 million facility that will expedite treatment of liquid salt waste at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Parsons announced Monday it has finished building the Next Generation Solvent (NGS) facility and has it in operational standby, awaiting startup of the site’s Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF).
The Next Generation Solvent is a single story, 3,600-square-foot steel frame facility. It will use pumps, tanks, and pipes to feed boric acid into the Salt Waste Processing Facility, separate from the waste stream. The acid will help extract cesium from the salt waste at a higher rate. Removing the material more efficiently from salt waste allows the remaining material to more quickly undergo processing, thereby speeding up salt waste processing by at least 50 percent. The recovered cesium will be sent to the nearby Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), where it will be treated along with the site’s sludge waste.
Parsons completed NGS at a cost of about $13.2 million, significantly less than the target cost of $20 million. “Completing a project such as the NGS facility significantly under budget is a tremendous achievement by any standard,” Frank Sheppard, Parsons’ senior vice president, said in a press release.
With the NGS now complete, Parsons will continue focusing on the Salt Waste Processing Facility. The company was hired in 2002 to design, build, test, and begin operations at the facility by January 2021 at a total cost of $2.3 billion. The facility is expected to process roughly 30 million gallons of salt waste by converting the waste into a form suitable for permanent storage at the DOE site near Aiken, S.C.
Parsons will operate the SWPF for a year before turning it over to the site’s liquid waste management contractor. That one year of operations has a target cost of $86.3 million.