Barnwell Facility Details

EnergySolutions designed, licensed and constructed this 235-acre site to accept all classes of low-level waste including very high activity waste forms and large components like reactor vessels. EnergySolutions has also operated this facility since it opened in 1971 – more than 40 years.

In more than three decades of operation, we have disposed of 28 million cubic feet (800,000 m3) of low-level radioactive waste, 40 large components, including Reactor Pressure Vessels and Steam Generators, with no regulatory interruptions, and unparalleled support from the local community.

The Barnwell Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility operates under the authority of Radioactive Material License 097 issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Since the disposal facility began operation in 1971, about 90% of the available disposal volume has been used.

All waste accepted for disposal must meet the requirements approved by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) as detailed in the site disposal criteria and the facility license. All waste must be in a dry, solid form – we cannot accept liquid waste for disposal. Packaged waste is placed in large concete vaults located in engineered earthen trenches excavated up to 20 feet below grade.

On July 1, 2000, South Carolina joined the Northeast Compact, thereby forming the Atlantic Compact with Connecticut, New Jersey and South Carolina as member states. The South Carolina Budget and Control Board establishes and adjusts the rate schedules for disposal of radioactive waste at the Barnwell Facility. The South Carolina Public Service Commission approves the allowable costs for disposal operations.