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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

Reactors (K, L, P, C & R)

The five production reactors are all heavy water moderated designs ranging in power levels from 2,400 MWth to 3,000 MWth that were used for production of plutonium, tritium, and miscellaneous isotopes.

The K Reactor facilities were shut down in 1996, with some of the support facilities kept in operation. The mission for the K Reactor changed from demonstrating and maintaining tritium production capability to placing it in cold standby with no planned provision for restart. Six major functions of the K Reactor were maintained operable during cold standby, and the equipment and components of K Reactor necessary to support the six functions was maintained operable. The six functions are to (1) provide property protection of government-owned equipment and facilities, (2) maintain facility habitability, (3) prevent the facility from becoming immediately unrecoverable, (4) store and process contaminated moderator, (5) handle and temporarily store irradiated fissile and hazardous material in the disassembly basin, and (6) store unirradiated reactor fuel and other highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the assembly area. Additionally, the equipment and systems of K Reactor required to ensure environmental compliance will be maintained operable, as well as the equipment and systems required by the K Reactor technical specifications.

Although the K Reactor has been placed in cold standby, the assembly area will continue to store unirradiated fuel assemblies, the disassembly basin will continue to store and handle irradiated components prior to shipment to the separations facilities or the burial grounds, the moderator storage areas will continue to store contaminated moderator, and the purification area will continue to treat contaminated moderator until the site inventory has been processed. Unirradiated fuel assemblies will continue to be handled, transported, and stored in the assembly area in the same manner and locations as before.

In 2000, the K-Reactor building was converted to K-Area Materials Storage (KAMS) Facility. Surplus plutonium is currently stored there and in the K-Area Complex.

The site inventory of contaminated moderator (except for moderator stored in the C, L, and P Reactor storage tanks) will be consolidated in Phase I of the moderator consolidation program in the K Reactor moderator storage areas. Contaminated moderators will continue to be stored in the storage tanks and stainless steel drums; however, in some cases, the moderator will be stored in new locations. The contaminated moderator will continue to be processed in the same manner as before. The next phase of moderator consolidation will move the moderator presently stored in the C, L, and P Reactor storage tanks to the K Reactor moderator storage areas. Miscellaneous irradiated and unirradiated components (e.g., boron carbide safety rods, instrument rods, sparjets, and other stainless steel and aluminum reactor components) may continue to be stored in the process room (i.e., inside the reactor tank), though none of these components are susceptible to release of radioactive contamination.

L Reactor facilities are currently in limited operation after being shut down in 1991. The mission for L Reactor changed from demonstrating and maintaining tritium production capability to placing the L Reactor in cold shutdown, with no capability for restart. Although L Reactor was placed in cold shutdown, the disassembly basin will continue to store and handle irradiated components prior to shipment to the separations facilities or the burial grounds, the moderator storage tanks will continue to store the contaminated moderator, the L-Area low level waste compactor facility will continue to compact waste into cardboard boxes for shipment to the burial grounds, and miscellaneous irradiated and unirradiated components (e.g., boron carbide safety rods, instrument rods, sparjets, other stainless steel and aluminum reactor components) will continue to be stored in the reactor tank.

P, C, and R Reactor facilities are currently in limited operation. The mission for P, C, and R Reactors changed from demonstrating and maintaining tritium production capability to placing them in cold shutdown with no capability for restart. The P Reactor is in cold shutdown and irradiated fuel has been shipped to other site facilities. The moderator storage tanks will store contaminated moderator and miscellaneous irradiated components will be stored in the reactor tank. Although the C Reactor is in cold shutdown, the disassembly basin will continue to store and handle irradiated components prior to shipment to the burial grounds, the moderator storage tanks will continue to store contaminated moderator, and miscellaneous irradiated components will continue to be stored in the reactor tank. The contaminated moderator is stored in drums in the R Reactor drum storage building.




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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:43:00 ZULU