Nuclear Waste Management Facilty Pipe Leaks



Operations began in the Nuclear Waste Management Facility, Bldg. 830, in 1963 with the opening of the High Intensity Radiation Development Laboratory. The Radioactive Waste Research Program was also located within the facility. Hot cells and associated laboratories were used to fabricate high intensity Cobalt-60 sources for food irradiation programs. The cells have also been used for the cutting, milling, and evaluation of radioactively contaminated and activated material and components from commercial nuclear power plants.

Leak tests conducted in 1986 and 1987 revealed a leak in the transfer line located between the High Intensity Radiation Development Laboratory and two 1,000 gallon underground storage tanks (USTs). The leak resulted in radionuclide contamination of the soils adjacent to the line and low levels of Cobalt-60 were detected in nearby groundwater monitoring wells.

Remedial Action

The USTs were removed from service in 1986. The contaminated soils along the transfer line were excavated in September and October 1988. The underground storage tanks were completely pumped out in November 1994, and the tanks, valve pit pipes, and additional contaminated soils were removed in 1999. The Cobalt-60 source in the building was removed in March 2000 when the Gamma Irradiation Facility was decommissioned.

The cleanup was handled under Areas of Concern (AOCs) 11, 12, and 16R and under Operable Units II/VII and OU III.