Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) Phase II - Aiken, South Carolina
Processing Radioactive Liquid Waste
For more than 20 years, Parsons has supported the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at its Savannah River Site (SRS), located 12 miles south of Aiken, South Carolina, on the Savannah River. The site, originally constructed in the 1950s by the Atomic Energy Commission, had produced the basic materials required to fabricate nuclear weapons (primarily tritium and plutonium-239) in support of our nation’s defense programs.
By the end of the Cold War, the SRS changed its focus to environmental restoration and remediation. In 2004, recognizing Parsons’ strong reputation for constructing unique facilities with advanced technology processes, the DOE selected Parsons to design, build, commission, and operate for 1 year the SWPF, which will eventually process 31 million gallons of radioactive salt waste stored onsite in large underground tanks at the SRS.
During Phase I of this contract, Parsons developed a facility and processing layout for the SWPF. After we completed the comprehensive Phase I conceptual design—ahead of schedule and under budget—the DOE awarded us a follow-on contract in 2003 for Phase II of the SWPF, which includes preliminary and final design; procurement, construction, commissioning; and 1 year of onsite operations. A major factor in the Phase II award was our initiative in developing a pilot-scale test of the caustic-side solvent extraction (CSSX) system. Parsons fabricated the pilot test equipment for the SWPF at our Technology Development and Fabrication Complex in Pasco, Washington, and then conducted test operations in Barnwell, South Carolina, under the observation of representatives from the SRS, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the South Carolina Governor’s Advisory Council.