France’s Framatome and US Savannah River Remediation (SRR) have completed repair work on a high-level waste evaporator (3H) at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. Framatome said on 11 November that its team had cleaned, welded and sealed a contained leak from the evaporator by designing and using customised components and a specialised inspection and repair technique.
The 3H evaporator is one of two evaporators used in the liquid waste system at the site. The evaporators are used to minimise the amount of liquid waste in SRS waste tanks, making space available for continuing liquid waste operations. In February 2016, SRS shut the evaporator after detecting a leak contained inside a stainless steel-lined concrete cell.
The repair presented two challenges – high radiation in the area and the hard-to-reach location of the. After removing excess insulation, the team built a full-scale model of the evaporator at Framatome’s Technical Training Centre, in Lynchburg, Virginia. This enabled them to design, fabricate and test methods to repair the evaporator. SRS restarted the 3H evaporator in July 2018.
The SRS liquid waste contract is managed by SRR, which comprises a team of companies led by Aecom with Bechtel National, CH2M and BWX Technologies. Subcontractors for the contract are Orano, Atkins and Aecom Technical Services.