SRS’s Melter 2 to be replaced | News | northaugustastar.com – The Star

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 6:45 am

Savannah River Sites Melter 2, a key component in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), will be replaced after nearly 14 years of record-breaking operational performance. A heater inside Melter 2 failed on Feb. 1 and is deemed not repairable.

Melter 2 is only the second melter in the 20-year history of DWPF. It has been operating nearly 14 years, approximately 12 years beyond its design life expectancy. Melter 1 ran for about six years of radioactive service and another two years of non-radioactive simulant processing.

The operational concept for DWPF is to use a melter until it is no longer operational and then replace it with a new melter. There are no risks to the public, workers or the environment during melter replacement. The replacement melter, the third melter to be installed in DWPF, known as Melter 3, has been ready for years. Work to install it will begin shortly, and will require approximately six months.

Melter 2 has poured 2,819 canisters during its life, more than double what Melter 1 produced in its life span, which was 1,339 canisters. Melter 1 was placed into radioactive operation in March 1996, following approximately two years of non-radioactive simulant operations. Melter 2 began operating in 2003. Together, Melters 1 and 2 have poured 4,158 canisters through January 31, 2017. The predicted number of canisters needed to dispose of SRS high-level tank waste is 8,170, according to the SRS Liquid Waste System Plan Rev. 20.

Since beginning operations, DWPF has poured more than 16 million pounds of glass and has immobilized about 61 million curies of radioactivity.

Savannah River Remediation (SRR) operates DWPF, as well as other liquid waste facilities at SRS, as part of its contract with DOE. Operations are expected to continue at DWPF for approximately 20 more years.

SRR keeps one melter in storage in case the working melter needs to be replaced.

Melter life extension is the product of work by engineers and scientists. The increased Melter 2 operational life resulted from the following:

Incorporating an improved insert in the melter, used from the beginning of this melters operation, ensures glass waste doesnt cause the melters pour spout to erode;

Heating the internal area where the glass flows into a canister to ensure it does not stick;

Adjusting electrical current to the electrode heaters inside the melter to increase its heating capacity; and

Installing agitation bubblers that are used to improve the heat distribution in the waste glass pool in the melter to achieve a better pour rate.

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SRS’s Melter 2 to be replaced | News | northaugustastar.com – The Star

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