Wednesday, February 23, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. – Another project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is continuing at SRS. They’ve begun the next phase in decommissioning the Heavy Water Components Test Reactor (HWCTR).
The reactor building is empty, the two steam generators and reactor vessel have been removed, and they can begin moving equipment in. They will also fill the below-grade portion with about 5,000 cubic yards of grout. This is to keep contaminants from reaching the groundwater.
The 174,000-pound dome was removed on February 1, 2011 and over the past two weeks, a 66-ton crane was used to lift out two steam generators (41,600 pounds each) and the reactor vessel (220,000 pounds). They were moved to a burial ground in E area for disposal.
Once they have completed filling the building with grout below grade and the metal shell has been demolished, a concrete cover will be placed over the reactor’s footprint. This will officially mark the end of the HWCTR decommissioning. They expect the project, a $25 million project, to be finished by the end of August.