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Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project


Since 2003, the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) has used both conventional and unique retrieval concepts, high-tech characterization equipment – including real-time radiography and radioassay – robotics, and automated treatment processes to retrieve, treat, and ship above-ground CH-TRU and low-level wastes from an inventory of 65,000 cubic meters.

The signature piece of equipment at AMWTP is the Supercompactor, a giant hydraulic ram capable of exerting 4 million pounds of force that can reduce a 35-inch-tall, 55-gallon barrel to a five-inch puck. By compacting waste, DOE is capable of putting more waste in the limited storage space of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Compaction also reduces the number of trips required to transport waste to WIPP.

Having undergone millions of dollars of upgrades recently, AWMTP is prepared for a long-term mission. In a 2008 Record of Decision, DOE directed 8,700 cubic meters of waste from other sites to be treated at AMWTP. DOE is also nearing completion of a study that defines potential opportunities for AMWTP, most notable treating waste from Hanford, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and small-quantity generator sites.


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