Skip to main content
Hanford.Gov
About Us

Liquid Waste Processing Facilities

Liquid Waste Processing Facility comprised of the Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (above) and the Effluent Treatment Facility (below).

Liquid Waste Processing Facility comprised of the Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (above) and the
Effluent Treatment Facility (below).

 

The U.S. Department of Energy and contractor Washington River Protection Solutions LLC are managing and upgrading the Liquid Waste Processing Facility at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State to prepare for waste treatment in support of Hanford and direct-feed low-activity waste operations.

Background

Construction of the Liquid Waste Processing Facility (LWPF) began in 1992 and it became operational in 1995. The LWPF is comprised of the following three facilities that work together to process waste containing high levels of chemical contamination and low levels of radioactive contamination from the Hanford Site:

  • Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) – processes liquid waste to remove chemical and radioactive contaminants
  • Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (LERF) – a series of retention basins designed to store liquid waste until it can be processed at the ETF
  • Treated Effluent Disposal Facility (not pictured) – collects nonhazardous treated waste effluents for disposal

Upon startup of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), LWPF operations will expand to include processing of waste from the Effluent Management Facility (EMF).

Mission

Store, treat, and dispose of large volumes of liquid waste as a treatment, storage, and disposal unit including processing of waste generated from the EMF upon startup of direct-feed low-activity waste (DFLAW) operations.

Hazards

The LWPF is a general service facility containing high levels of chemical waste and low-level radioactive waste. Aging infrastructure (e.g., retention basins) and processing equipment have resulted in leaks, which pose a risk to worker safety and the environment. Leaks in the processing equipment are contained within the ETF and have not resulted in a release to the environment. Replacement of degraded retention basin covers is needed to maintain control of the low-level radioactive waste water stored in the basins.

Safety and Efficiency

Upon the startup of the WTP, a throughput of liquid effluent in excess of 9 million gallons per year is expected. The current processing capacity of the LWPF is approximately 4 million gallons per year. In order to support future DFLAW operations, the LWPF will undergo several upgrades through December 2021 to include installation of an acetonitrile treatment system, equipment repairs/replacements, and construction of an additional retention basin (Basin 41).

Progress

Completed cover replacement on retention Basin 43 in FY 2017

Completed cover replacement on retention Basin 42 in FY 2018

Processed approximately 15 million gallons of liquid effluent waste since FY 2015

Future

Complete replacement of Basin 44 and Basin 41 construction. Support future DFLAW operations through the processing of liquid waste from the EMF at a rate of over 9 million gallons per year.

 

LERF basins – Basin 41 (left) scheduled for construction in FY 2021

LERF basins – Basin 41 (left) scheduled for construction in FY 2021

Workers replace reverse osmosis pumps and valves to enhance facility reliability during DFLAW operationsWorkers replace reverse osmosis pumps and valves to enhance facility reliability during DFLAW operations

 

A worker inspects a new stainless steel caustic tank that will replace the existing fiberglass tank to support long-term operationsA worker inspects a new stainless steel caustic tank that will replace the existing fiberglass tank to support long-term operations

 

Crews replace the leachate pumping systems at the LERF retention basins Crews replace the leachate pumping systems at the LERF retention basins 

 

 

Last Updated 04/07/2020 12:43 PM