Located near the center of the 586-square-mile Hanford Site is the Integrated Disposal Facility, also known as the IDF. This facility is a landfill similar in concept to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility located at Hanford, but the IDF is built to a much smaller total capacity (approximately 1 million cubic meters) than its ERDF counterpart. The facility in its current configuration, referred to as the “first expansion”, was completed in April of 2006 at a cost of $25 million.
The IDF consists of two disposal areas called cells, although the facility can be expanded as needed to a total capacity of six cells. One of these cells is designed to accept mixed low-level wastes, possibly including the treated low-level/low-activity waste that will have gone through the vitrification process at Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant. The second cell is being considered to accept low-level waste that has come from Hanford cleanup activities, but did not go through the Waste Treatment Plant.
As at ERDF, the dimensions of the Integrated Disposal Facility cells are massive.The IDF is about 1500 feet wide, 765 feet long, and 42 feet deep for the “first expansion” with a capacity of nearly 165,000 cubic meters. A seven-foot-thick liner at the base of the IDF is designed to catch any liquid that may seep through the waste, so that it will not have any possibility of contaminating the soil beneath the disposal cells. Once the liquid reaches this liner, it is removed and taken to a facility where the liquid is treated, the contaminants removed, and the liquid is then able to be safely returned to the soil.
While the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility has been accepting waste in their disposal cells for many years, the Integrated Disposal Facility has not yet done so.