Office of Environmental Management

01/24/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2023 10:53

Oak Ridge Completes Critical Upgrades to Waste Treatment Infrastructure

UCOR employees execute troubleshooting prior to the installation of the new Distributed Control System, including mock-up of all electrical lockout and tagouts to ensure safe compliance and system testing for infrastructure compatibility.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn.- The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management(OREM) and its contractor UCOR are performing extensive upgrades designed to extend the life of the Liquid and Gaseous Waste Operations (LGWO) facilities.

LGWO treats wastewater from OREM's cleanup operations and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) research and development laboratories. Made up of 60 facilities and 27 miles of piping, this infrastructure is critical for ongoing EMand Office of Sciencemissions.

Most recently, UCOR finished replacing the Distributed Control System (DCS), which controls LGWO's instrumentation. The upgrade project was necessary for the waste treatment system to remain operational.

With the old system running on obsolete components, the upgrade project included the design, fabrication and installation of a fully new system complete with a new fiber optic cabling system between the LGWO facilities, network cabinets, control cabinets, new software and a new backup system.

The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management's Distributed Control System upgrade project included the design, fabrication and installation of a fully new system complete with a new fiber optic cabling system.

The DCS controls and monitors 2,216 process points across 18 facilities; those points span three waste treatment systems that comprise LGWO: the Liquid Low Level Waste, Process Waste Treatment and Gaseous Waste systems.

UCOR planned and executed troubleshooting before the new DCS installation began to ensure safe compliance and system testing for infrastructure compatibility. That extensive effort was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

In addition to the system upgrades, UCOR is completing other actions to maintain safe and reliable operability of the LGWO systems.

Another project involved installing a new pretreatment facility that treats low-level liquid waste and allows it to be diverted from storage tanks directly to the Process Waste Treatment System. That change alleviates previous storage volume issues. Crews also replaced a diesel generator that powers critical pumping stations and valve boxes when power is interrupted.

OREM and UCOR are also in the midst of an $18 million projectto replace more than a mile of above-ground piping and valves, making the system more efficient and reliable and helping avoid the possibility of disrupting ongoing ORNL operations. That work is slated to continue through 2024.

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