Client: US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Center
Waste treated: Asbestos
Project initiated: October 2000
Project completed: May 2002

Project goal: Deploy technology for asbestos destruction and evaluate suitability for RAD immobilisation

The current inventory of radioactive asbestos in the Department of Energy (DOE) complex is estimated to be 4,000,000lb. Thus, the DOE has an interest in technologies that have the ability to destroy the asbestos, immobilise the radionuclides, and reduce the volume of the waste. The US DOE National Energy Technology Center in Morgantown, West Virginia awarded ARI a contract to deploy its technology and demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology in destroying asbestos from DOE facilities. Ten thousand pounds of asbestos originating from an abatement project at the DOE Savannah River Complex was transported to ARIs test facility in Tacoma, Washington. ARI conducted tests on the asbestos in early 2002.

The project was successful in destroying the asbestos and reducing the volume of the waste by over 60%. Portions of the asbestos were spiked with lead, barium, cadmium, arsenic, cesium and cerium to demonstrate the ability of the process to immobilise toxic metals and surrogate radionuclides. TCLP tests showed that leach performance for the RCRA metals surpassed EPA performance standards by no less than an order of magnitude. Product Consistency Testing (PCT) showed that the chemical durability of the product was equivalent or better than vitrified radioactive waste with similar chemistry.