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[cdn-nucl-l] Tentative deadlines set for shutdown of FFTF
Posted in the Hanford News on August 30, 2002 and at:
Tentative deadlines set for shutdown of FFTF
This story was published Fri, Aug 30, 2002
By John Stang
Herald staff writer
The proposed legal deadline to start draining liquid sodium from
Hanford's Fast Flux Test Facility is June 2003.
And Hanford officials have tentatively set June 2005 to finish draining
the reactor of its coolant.
Those are two of the tentative Tri-Party Agreement deadlines offered for
public comment through Oct. 14.
The Department of Energy, the Washington Department of Ecology and the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently finished negotiating a
timetable to shut down the experimental reactor. The talks had been on
hold for several years while DOE decided whether to resurrect the FFTF.
Last December, DOE ordered the reactor shutdown.
Although the Tri-Party Agreement negotiations are complete, the state
and federal agencies won't sign the final agreement until the public
comment period is over and any changes made.
The FFTF holds 260,000 gallons of super-hot liquid sodium used to cool
The sodium is mostly found in the core and in two systems pipes.
Once the systems are drained it's believed the reactor can no longer be
restarted because piping would be damaged.
The tentative agreement calls for the sodium draining to begin by June
2003 on a one heat transfer system. Removal of sodium from the core and
both heat transfer systems is supposed to be done by June 2005.
The tentative agreement sets a March 2009 deadline to finish removing
352 irradiated and 24 never-irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies, washing
liquid sodium off of them and storing them until final disposition is
The tentative agreement calls for "complete shutdown" by February 2011.
But information was unavailable Thursday on what "complete shutdown"
Fluor Hanford is in charge of shutting down the reactor. In late July,
an independent panel recommended Fluor speed up the shutdown --
including demolishing the buildings and tearing apart or entombing the
reactor by 2011.
Fluor is scheduled to submit its shutdown plan to DOE by Sept. 30.
One major loose end is the budget.
Prior to unveiling the new proposed schedule, DOE planned to allocate
$36.1 million to FFTF in 2003 and then
$46.1 million annually for the next few years.
If Fluor and DOE adopt the panel's recommendations the annual cost
through 2011 would be $74.4 million.
People wanting to comment on the proposed deadlines can contact:
Al Farabee at DOE's Richland office, P.O. Box 550 (N2-36), Richland,
99352. His phone is 376-8089. His e-mail address is
Laura Cusack at the state ecology department's nuclear waste program, at
1315 W. Fourth Ave., Kennewick, 99336. Her phone is 736-3038. Her
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2002 Tri-City Herald. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.