Perma-Fix Environmantal Services
 

Radioactive and Mixed Waste Services

Perma-Fix offers a wide variety of Radioactive and Mixed Waste services. Click on the navigation tree to the left to explore a particular service in more depth.

The Waste Services segment provides radioactive, hazardous and mixed waste services to hospitals, research laboratories, institutions, nuclear utilities and numerous Federal agencies including the Departments of Energy and Defense. The Segment has developed the most advanced treatment technologies available in the industry.

Waste Services operates four RCRA permitted and radioactive licensed treatment facilities, providing treatment and disposal of radioactive, hazardous and mixed wastes.

Our Mixed Waste Services Include:

  • Treatment of hazardous metals, acids, bases, inorganics, non-hazardous liquids and sludges with the Perma-Fix I Process
  • Treatment of hazardous organics (F listed) with the Perma-Fix II Process
  • Decay in storage
  • Radioactive decontamination and disposal
  • Laboratory and analytical services

The Waste Services Segment also operates an On-site Services group, providing waste management personnel on client sites for a variety of industrial and government clients including major contracts with Department of Energy facilities.

For Radioactive Waste Services Contact:

Tammy Monday
Vice President, Waste Services Business Development
tmonday@perma-fix.com

Waste Treatment Processes

Macroencapsulation

Macroencapsulation

Perma-Fix offers macroencapsulation services. Our facility personnel will empty the container to screen the debris out and remove any prohibited items and separating any identified liquids. This solid waste will then be prepared for treatment in accordance with the “Alternative Treatment Standard for Debris” (40 CFR 268.45).

The macroencapsulation process involves sorting, segregating and supercompaction of mixed debris wastes thus resulting in a volume reduction ratio of approximately 2.5:1.

The specific treatment will either be a Chemical Extraction or Macroencapsulation process. The method selected will be dependent upon the waste matrix and the waste characteristics. Final disposal of macroencapsulated wastes can be provided at Hanford or the Nevada National Security Site.

Neutralization

DSSI Thermal Perma-Fix Neutralization/Stabilization can be performed at all four of the Perma-Fix facilities. Due to the waste treatment approach of this section Perma-Fix is providing our treatment capabilities for neutralization followed by stabilization however in many cases combustion at our DSSI facility provides the most cost effective option.

Neutralization involves the addition of applicable reagents to acidic or basic mixed wastes to render the wastes non-corrosive. After neutralization, wastes are processed by thermal (combustion) or non-thermal (stabilization) means, depending on regulatory requirements, waste matrix, and cost considerations

Stabilization/Solidification services will treat the waste to meet regulatory limits and render the waste in an acceptable form for disposal. In terms of treatment and depending upon the disposal facility waste acceptance criteria, the waste will be treated to meet either the toxicity characteristic limits in 40 CFR 261 or the limits applicable under the Universal Treatment Standards in 40 CFR 268.48. Solidification media used includes polymers, cement, fly ash, or a similar material that is compatible with the waste. The end product may be a solid monolith or an unconsolidated soil-like form, depending on the disposal facility acceptance criteria.

Thermal Treatment via VTD

Perma-Fix II (VTD) Perma-Fix offers a thermal desorption process which is used to remove the free organic fraction from inorganic solids that contain volatile or semi-volatiles. This process uses a combination of temperature (up to 625°F), vacuum and carrier gases (e.g. steam & inert gases) to aid in the separation and desorption. This process is performed in an oxygen free environment. The desorbed constituents are then treated via direct chemical oxidation or combustion. In some cases, this desorption process can also be used as a destruction process. Once thermally desorbed the waste could require stabilization to render it amenable for disposal. The secondary liquids generated through this process are thermally destroyed via combustion at our DSSI facility.

Thermal Treatment via Combustion

boiler industrial furnace Perma-Fix offers thermal treatment of both Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and non- TSCA regulated radioactive and Mixed Low Level Waste (MLLW) liquids and sludges.. The DSSI facility performs combustion processing of wastes The DSSI facility is authorized by EPA Region 4 to manage TSCA regulated PCB contaminated radioactive wastes. This authorization is the first and only commercial outlet for radioactive PCB waste treatment and disposal that had not previously been available to commercial generators. The residual ash generated from combustion processing is stabilized to meet Land Disposal Restricted (LDR) standards, and disposed of as DSSI waste at the Clive site in Utah and a Certificate of Management (COM) is issued to the generator.

To expand the types of wastes acceptable for processing through the combustion system, a liquefaction unit is employed. Solid or semi-solid materials can be converted to a liquid state using high shear mechanical mixers, homogenizers, and mills. The materials are reduced in size and create a colloidal suspension with the free liquid resulting in a pumpable liquid waste that can be combusted in accordance with EPA requirements.

Acceptable Wastes for Combustion

Perma-Fix’s DSSI facility is permitted to receive mixed wastes with waste code designations of D, F, K, P, and U; TSCA regulated liquid PCB’s; low-level radioactive wastes; and used oil.

Acceptable wastes include:DSSI Tank Farm

  • Radioactive PCB’s
  • Radioactive oils and sludges
  • Solvents (halogenated and non-halogenated)
  • Organic-bearing aqueous wastes
  • Ignitable, corrosive liquids
  • Used oil

Combustion Process

Combustion in DSSI’s direct-fired boiler industrial furnace (BIF) meets the provisions of 40 CFR 266 and is applicable for destruction of many liquid mixed and radioactive waste streams. Wastes are sampled and analyzed prior to processing, and then blended to control concentrations of contaminants and optimize processing parameters.

The boiler system is designed and operated to combust waste liquids and propane gas as fuel sources. It provides direct energy conversion and recovery by placing waste fuel combustion flue gases in contact with the “fire tubes” of a steam generator. The water outside these tubes is converted to steam that is subsequently converted to electrical power through a turbine-induction motor generator system.

In addition, the Perma-Fix/DSSI facility can accommodate drum quantities or large bulk (tanker) quantities of liquid wastes. The facility tank farm has the capacity to store 30,000 gallons of liquid wastes. The tanks are used for storage and to allow for blending of the wastes prior to processing.

Stabilization

In-container Stabilization With our four fully permitted and licensed facilities, Perma-Fix has the most comprehensive and complete mixed waste treatment capabilities in the United States.

Acceptable Wastes for Stabilization

Perma-Fix accepts most low-level radiological wastes with RCRA/TSCA hazardous constituents or characteristics for treatment including:

  • Corrosives, reactives, oxidizers, and metal bearing wastes
  • Debris and dry active waste (paper, plastic, trash)
  • Caustic cleaners
  • Nitrated wastes
  • Spent acid sludge
  • Chromium and cadmium plating sludge
  • Lead bearing wastes
  • Beryllium waste
  • Elemental mercury waste
  • Characteristic wastes (corrosivity, reactivity, toxic metals)

Applicable Treatment Processes

To determine the most applicable treatment process for a particular waste stream, Perma-Fix samples and analyzes the waste, examines all of the currently available options, and determines the option with the lowest cost to the customer. If necessary, Perma-Fix can develop new treatment and disposal approaches for unique or complex waste streams.

The Perma-Fix I Process

In-container Stabilization The Perma-Fix process consists of a series of processes that are used to perform sorting, sizing, and final treatment of wastes depending on the specific constituents of the waste and the required treatment method. The major processes within the system are described as follows:

Stabilization/Solidification – Stabilization or solidification is used to treat wastes to meet regulatory limits and to render the waste in an acceptable form for disposal. Depending on the disposal facility’s waste acceptance criteria (WAC), the waste is treated to meet either the toxicity characteristic limits in 40 CFR 261 or the applicable limits under the Universal Treatment Standards in 40 CFR 268.48. Solidification media used include cement, fly ash, polymers, and other reagents that react with hazardous constituents such as lead, cadmium, and chromium to render them non-leachable in the environment. The end product may be a solid monolith or an unconsolidated soil-like form, depending on the disposal facility’s WAC.

Chemical Extraction – Chemical extraction can be performed by a number of techniques (e.g., soil or debris washing) to remove the organic portion of the waste, to be treated separately. The residual waste can be further processed by stabilization, solidification, thermal desorption, or drying to ensure conformance with the disposal facility’s WAC.

Chemical Fixation – Chemical fixation is used for waste solids and sludges that contain hazardous metals. Wastes are sampled and analyzed upon receipt at Perma-Fix’s facilities to determine the appropriate treatment formula for the specific waste matrix. A chemical fixation agent is added to the waste, which reacts to produce a metal complex that is no longer leachable. The fixed metals and the rest of the waste matrix may then be solidified.

Metals Precipitation – Metals may be separated from certain liquid waste streams by chemically precipitating them into a low solubility form. The precipitate undergoes solidification, and the decanted liquids may be treated by a more cost-effective means (e.g., wastewater treatment and discharge). Precipitation may result in reduced disposal volumes over fixation.

Neutralization – The addition of applicable reagents to acidic or basic mixed wastes can render the wastes non-corrosive. After neutralization, wastes are processed by thermal or non-thermal means, depending on regulatory requirements, waste matrix, and cost considerations. Neutralization is an effective, low-cost treatment method since the simple addition of neutralizing reagents can remove the characteristic hazard.

Debris Treatment – Mixed wastes meeting the definition of debris under RCRA may be treated in a variety of ways to meet regulatory requirements. Debris that is amenable to size reduction is shredded, washed, and stabilized prior to disposal. Non-shredable debris (e.g., lead solids) can be treated by macro-encapsulation. This may be done using surface coating materials, such as polymeric organics, to form a jacket of inert organic material to substantially reduce surface exposure to potential leaching media; or by an approved alternate method.

Other Treatment – Specialized processes are used for certain waste types:

  • Cyanides - Alkaline chlorination is used to destroy cyanides in liquid waste streams and slurries.
  • Reactive Metals – A controlled reaction with a suitable medium safely treats reactive metals to prevent violent reactions, excessive heat generation, and formation of explosive gas mixtures. The deactivated material can then be solidified for disposal.
  • Amalgamation – Waste elemental mercury can be treated by amalgamation, a chemical reaction that forms a solid mercury/metal product that is non-leachable in the environment.

TSCA regulated MLLW liquids & PCB separation/prep for TSCA destruction

Perma-Fix’s DSSI facility is permitted for the treatment of TSCA regulated PCB liquids by EPA Region 4. This authorization allows DSSI to be the first and only commercial outlet for radioactive PCB waste treatment and disposal that had not previously been available to commercial generators. The DSSI facility performs combustion processing resulting in the issuance of a Certificate of Management (COM) to the generator. The residual ash generated from combustion processing is stabilized to meet Land Disposal Restricted (LDR) standards, and disposed of as DSSI waste at the Clive site in Utah.

PCB soft solid treatment

PCB treatment Perma-Fix offers a thermal desorption process which is used to remove the free organic fraction from inorganic solids that contain volatile or semi-volatiles. This process uses a combination of temperature (up to 625°F), vacuum and carrier gases (e.g. steam & inert gases) to aid in the separation and desorption. This process is performed in an oxygen free environment. The desorbed constituents containing less than 2 ppm PCB’s are then treated via direct chemical oxidation or combustion. Desorbed liquids containing >50 ppm are then prepared for shipment to the DSSI facility for combustion. The residual solid waste resulting from this process typically requires stabilization to render it amenable for disposal.

The DSSI facility operates the only commercial mixed waste combustion unit in the United States with TSCA treatment authorization from the EPA Region 4 to manage TSCA regulated PCB contaminated radioactive wastes. This authorization is the first and only commercial outlet for radioactive PCB waste treatment and disposal available to both Government and Commercial generators.

Mercury treatment>260 ppm

amalgamation Perma-Fix provides the required treatment methods for Hg>260 ppm through the use of the VTD at M&EC which qualifies as a retorting process (RMERC). Current EPA LDRs mandate technology-based treatment of high mercury (>260 mg/kg total Hg) organic-bearing and inorganic wastes. Incineration (IMERC) and Retorting (RMERC) are the currently approved technologies for treatment of high mercury waste. Radioactive elemental mercury in virtually the liquid form must be treated via amalgamation (AMALG); however, solid wastes contaminated with elemental mercury are subject to the aforementioned IMERC and RMERC treatment standards. Mercury contaminated debris may be treated using the LDR alternative debris treatment (i.e., macro-/micro-encapsulation or sealing). Thermal retorting (RMERC) systems, the more available technology, thermally volatilizes mercury and captures it via condensation. The recovered radioactive mercury can then be stabilized by amalgamation.

Mercury treatment<260 ppm

All four of the Perma-Fix nuclear facilities can provide treatment of Mercury <260 ppm. Dependent upon the contaminated matrix, a Perma-Fix I stabilization process is typically used for soluble mercury in wastes in this category. This process chemically reduces the mercury to an insoluble, low-leaching form. This method is operated at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure.

Elemental Mercury

Marion Mixer

Perma-Fix can provide treatment of elemental mercury contaminated with radioactive material via amalgamation which is the required treatment method for radioactive liquid elemental mercury wastes. Perma-Fix employs a patented amalgamation process using proprietary reagents that meets the EPA technology treatment standard (AMALGM). This process treats elemental mercury waste to meet the requirement of AMALGM using chemical reagents that bind the mercury and render it non-leachable.

Non-TSCA labpacks

typical lab pack All of the Perma-Fix nuclear facilities are licensed and permitted to receive and treat non-Toxic Substances Control Act(TSCA) regulated MLLW labpacks to meet LDR. The specified treatment will depend upon the waste within the labpack containers. Each of our facilities can accept all labpacks to unpack and sort/segregate for appropriate treatment. One of the major benefits to utilizing Perma-Fix is our ability to transfer waste between each of our facilities for treatment.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) labpacks

lab processing Perma-Fix's comprehensive mixed and low-level waste treatment facilities provide our clients with seamless access to the full spectrum of treatment options we offer. In addition to treatment services, we provide on-site lab-packing services to our clients. For the treatment of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulated labpacks, the DSSI facility is authorized by EPA Region 4 to manage TSCA regulated PCB contaminated radioactive wastes. This authorization is the first and only commercial outlet for radioactive PCB waste treatment and disposal that had not previously been available to commercial generators.

Non-combustible liquids

wastewater treatment Neutralization/Stabilization can be performed at all four of the Perma-Fix facilities. Due to the waste treatment approach of this section Perma-Fix is providing our treatment capabilities for neutralization followed by stabilization. Neutralization involves the addition of applicable reagents to acidic or basic mixed wastes to render the wastes non-corrosive. After neutralization, wastes are processed by thermal (combustion) or non-thermal (stabilization) means, depending on regulatory requirements, waste matrix, and cost considerations

Stabilization/Solidification services will treat the waste to meet regulatory limits and render the waste in an acceptable form for disposal. In terms of treatment and depending upon the disposal facility waste acceptance criteria, the waste will be treated to meet either the toxicity characteristic limits in 40 CFR 261 or the limits applicable under the Universal Treatment Standards in 40 CFR 268.48. Solidification media used includes polymers, cement, fly ash, or a similar material that is compatible with the waste. The end product may be a solid monolith or an unconsolidated soil-like form, depending on the disposal facility acceptance criteria.

Aerosol cans

Venting aerosol cans Perma-Fix treats Mixed Low Level Waste (MLLW) aerosol cans to meet Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) standards. Cans are punctured, vented and drained. The residual waste is treated to meet LDR standards.

Compaction

Perma-Fix offers compaction services. Incoming waste is taken to a separate, ventilated room to be sorted for compliance and segregated for volume reduction. Once non-compliant materials are removed, the remaining waste is in-barrel compacted. Once the drums are verified compliant, they are sent to our compactor and crushed. The resulting pucks may be placed in drum overpacks or boxes, surrounded with fill materials such as thermal process residue or soils, and prepped for shipment to disposal. These fill materials help increase density in the disposal container and minimize the amount of waste to disposal. Final disposal can be at any of the disposal facilities that accept LLW for disposal.

Sort/Segregate

Perma-Fix provides sorting and segregation services in which waste is sorted to determine compliance of materials with any Disposal Site Criteria.

Thermal Treatment

BPU

thermal treatment

Perma-Fix operates two Bulk Process Units (BPUs) for thermal processing of both liquid and solid low-level wastes. The BPU is most simply described as a large, refractory lined oven. The BPU allows for complete separability of customer wastes by utilizing a stainless steel burn box. Volume reductions obtained are dependent on the types of waste burned. Plastics, cloth, and paper treatment results in a VR in excess of 100:1. Typical VR for a standard mix of waste is 30:1. Final waste is packaged in accordance with disposal site criteria and can be disposed at any of the disposal facilities that accept LLW for disposal.

Combustion

In addition to the BPU treatment of rad only liquids; the Perma-Fix DSSI facility will be utilized for thermal treatment of LLW liquids. The DSSI facility performs combustion processing resulting in the issuance of a Certificate of Management (COM) to the generator.

Treatability Study Services

PFF Treatability Laboratory personnel The Perma-Fix of Florida facility in Gainesville, Florida houses a state-of-the-art mixed waste analytical chemistry laboratory which conducts treatability studies to enhance or develop treatment processes for specialty wastes. In addition, since the laboratory is located within a licensed and permitted operating waste treatment facility which treats a variety of characteristic and listed waste soils, liquids, sludge, and debris to meet Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) standards and/or other disposal objectives, personnel are available for consulting on scale-up issues that may be addressed during bench testing.

Features of Treatability Testing Services
Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. has demonstrated capability to develop and commercialize compliant and cost-effective treatment processes for unique and problematic wastes through treatability studies.
  • Fully equipped licensed and permitted analytical laboratory;
  • Providing treatability studies to enhance or develop treatment processes for specialty wastes;
  • Performing bench-scale optimization tests;
  • Fully qualified personnel can assist with scaling-up of process methods developed; and
  • Use of either non-radioactive waste surrogate or real waste samples based upon client requirements.

The Treatability Laboratory personnel can perform bench-scale optimization tests using either non-radioactive waste surrogate or real waste samples based upon client requirements. The facility has the necessary engineering (fume hoods, no floor drains, monitoring instruments, etc.) and administrative (standard operating procedures, routine inspections and surveys, safety support staff, etc.) controls to facilitate performance of the work in a safe and effective manner.

The Technical Services staff have decades of combined experience in developing and optimizing waste treatment processes and have participated in the successful development of bench-scale and full-scale treatment processes for many waste streams as identified in the Waste Treatability Studies table.

Table 1 – Waste Treatability Studies
GENERATOR WASTE FORM HAZ CODES RAD CONSTITUENTS RESULTS
Thorium Source Material Repository Th(NO3) 4H2O> 98% Pure None: Product ≠ Waste DOT Oxidizer + DOT Corrosive Thnat Separated NO3 Deactivated oxidizer/corrosive Reduced volume
DOE Weapons Complex Fused Beryllium Salts None:Be toxic but Non-regulated by RCRA 234U, 235U, 238U PF stabilized Be salts, encapsulated container surface
Superfund LSV burial site remediation LSC contam soil, absorbent, and debris D022, F003, F005 3H, 14C Thermal desorb and oxidize to separate rad and/or destroy organics
CERCLA site Tagged chemical manufacturer Lab pack Encapsulated in concrete D001, D002, D003, F003, F005 14C Retrieved intact containers, categorized by compatibility and bulked contents for disposal
DOE Weapons Complex Spent aqueous cleaner from D&D D006, D008 3H PF precipitated and stabilized metals
DOE Weapons Complex Low density waste and scrap metal from D&D D005, D007 D008, D011 3H, 99Tc, 234U, 238U, 239Pu, 241Am PF stabilized metals and encapsulated debris
USAF Low density debris from D&D F005 3H Solvent Extract Alternate treatment standard for debris
DOE Weapons Complex Spent Nitric Acid D002, D006, D007, D008 99Tc, 234U, 235U, 238U PF Deactivated codes and stabilized waste
Chemical Manufacturer Ethanol Solution D001 65Zn Precipitated Zn to avoid disposal surcharge
University Research Lab Lab Pack D001, D002, D005, D022, F003, F005 3H, 14C, 55Fe 133Ba, 137Cs, 144Ce, 152Eu, 233Th, 233U, 238U Categorized and Bulked for Fuel Substitution
Nuclear Utility Paint Chips D008 60Co, 109Cd, 137Cs PF Stabilization
DOE Weapons Complex Oily Sludge Legacy Waste D018, D039, F001, F002, F005 Transuranics 90Sr, 99Tc, 234Th, 233U, 238U, 234mPa Extraction, Thermal Desorption, Chemical Oxidation, Combustion
DOE Weapons Complex Storm Sewer Sediment D005, D009 > 260 mg/kg 238U, 232Th Amalgamation/ Stabilization
Nuclear Utility Leaded Silicone Rubber D008 60Co, 137Cs Separate and Stabilize Lead
Multiple DOE Weapons Complex Depleted Uranium Metal Chips, and DU Fines in Sludge Reactive Metals, PCBs 238U Solvent Washing/Extraction or Thermal Desorption, Stabilization
DOE Weapons Complex Depleted Uranyl Nitrate Corrosive 238U Neutralization, Solidification
US Army Depot VX Hydrolysate Non-RCRA Corrosive, Flammable None Biological/Chemical Destruction of Agent Secondary Wastes
DOE Weapons Complex Silos 1 & 2 K-65 Residues Previously RCRA; Reclassified as 11e 2 Byproduct Material U, Radium Lead and Chromium Chemical Stabilization
Spent Fuel Processing Facility Tank Supernate with High Dissolved Salts D004, D007, D009 90Sr, 137Cs, 99Tc Stabilization and Solidification to meet NTS WAC

Waste Treatment Processes By Location

Process/waste type M&EC Facility DSSI Facility Perma-Fix of Florida Perma-Fix Northwest
Neutralization of Mixed Low Level Waste MLLW liquids  
Neutralization/Stabilization of MLLW liquids      
Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of non-TSCA Regulated MLLW Liquids      
Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of TSCA Regulated MLLW Liquids      
Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of high-special nuclear material (SNM) MLLW Liquids      
Stabilization of MLLW Solids
Macroencapsulation of MLLW Solids  
Deactivation of MLLW (D003 wastes)    
Vacuum Thermal Desorption (VTD) of MLLW solids      
Treatment of radiological contaminated Elemental Hg    
Amalgamation/Stabilization (Hg >260 ppm) of MLLW Solids      
Non-TSCA Regulated MLLW Labpacks
TSCA regulated MLLW Labpacks  
MLLW Aerosols      
Macroencapsulation of MLLW Solids (TSCA)  
Macroencapsulation of Radioactive Pb solid.  
PCB separation/decontamination (TSCA)      
TRU and TRUM packaging and verification      
Thermal and non-thermal volume reduction LLW.      
Rad stabilization for CAT-3 Mixed and LLW      
Free release from rad and recycling      
Thermal treatment radioactive liquid (non-mixed)      
NORM and NARM treatment and disposal      
Liquefaction & Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of Non-TSCA Regulated MLLW Solids      
Liquefaction & Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of TSCA Regulated MLLW Solids      
Liquefaction & Incineration or Equivalent Thermal Treatment of High-Special Nuclear Material (SNM) MLLW Solids      
Vacuum Thermal Desorption (VTD) of TSCA Regulated MLLW Solids      
Sort/Segregation/Package for Disposal of LLW & MLLW Solids
Solvent Extraction/Debris Washing of MLLW Solids
Solvent Extraction/Debris Washing of TSCA Regulated MLLW Solids    
Demilitarization/Sanitization of Weapon Components      
Sort/Segregation/Package for Disposal of Classified LLW & MLLW Solids      
Stabilization of Classified MLLW Solids      
Retort Mercury Contaminated (Hg>260 ppm) Solids      

GSA Pricing

The GSA Pricing List can be found here.