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GTS Duratek to begin repairs on melter


GTS Duratek Inc. of Columbia has decided to make major repairs on its radioactive-waste melter in South Carolina and will set aside $5.9 million during the first quarter as a reserve to cover costs.

The melter at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site shut down March 27 after operators noticed signs that the unit's insulation was failing. GTS Duratek has a $14 million contract to convert low-level nuclear waste at the site into glass using its vitrification technology.

The melter was damaged by chemicals added to the radioactive sludge when the unit began operating six months ago, the company said. That practice has been changed, and the melter could continue to function, but it will operate better and be easier to repair if the work is done now, company President and Chief Executive Officer Robert E. Prince said in a news release.

Waste processing should resume by the fourth quarter of the year, he said.

GTS Duratek also is about to finalize the purchase of the Scientific Ecology Group, which will make it the largest radioactive-waste disposal company in the nation.

Pub Date: 4/17/97

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