The U.S. Department of Energy and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company are preparing the Integrated Disposal Facility at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State to receive vitrified low-activity tank waste and mixed low-level waste from Hanford Site operations.
The Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF) is an engineered disposal site at the center of the Hanford Site. It is designed to receive immobilized low-activity waste (ILAW) from the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant and other low-level waste from Hanford Site operations.
Approximately 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste are stored in 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site. By the end of 2023, low-activity waste from the tanks will be transferred directly to the Low-Activity Waste Facility at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant for treatment. Through vitrification, the waste will be blended with glass-forming materials, heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit and poured into stainless steel containers to cool and solidify. In this glass form, the ILAW is stable.
IDF will provide permanent, environmentally safe disposition for the ILAW containers and mixed low-level waste streams from Hanford operations. Similar in design to Hanford’s Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, IDF is engineered to protect the groundwater.
Leachate from precipitation and dust suppression will be monitored, collected, and treated as necessary. IDF’s two disposal cells can be expanded to accommodate additional capacity.
A permit modification is required from Washington State to allow IDF to treat, store, and dispose of waste. The modification is expected to be issued in early 2021.
- Construction of a waste storage area for receipt and thermal cooling of ILAW containers before disposal
- Construction of a waste treatment pad to provide onsite treatment capability
- Modification of leachate piping to optimize operations