Commercial Operations

Studsvik Processing Facility (SPF), Erwin, TN

SPF Building
SPF Overview


The patented THOR process developed by Studsvik has been in use since 1999 in Erwin, Tennessee to treat radioactive waste for the commercial nuclear industry. Before commercial operations began, Studsvik conducted bench, pilot scale and engineering scale steam reforming demonstrations to develop process performance data and operating parameters using leased and Studsvik-owned hardware at the Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado. In just 30 months, Studsvik completed demonstrations, conceptual and detailed design, procurement, construction, cold start-up, readiness assessment, and hot start-up.


The Erwin facitity is licensed for the handling and processing of radioactive waste by the State of Tennessee, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreement state. The facility has been in continuous operation since 1999 and processes waste on a 24/7 basis. Slurry wastes with high water, high organic, and iron content with contact dose rates of up to 500 R/hr have been received, processed, and packaged for disposal. The heavily shielded facility can receive and remotely process liquid and solid LLW at feed rates of over 1,000 lbs/hr. Plant operations have proven safe and efficient, while providing a high rate of availability. A process overview of the facility is shown below.

Step Process Overview

Lessons Learned in the start-up and over ten years of radioactive operations have been incorporated into the steam reforming systems proposed by TTT to treat DOE streams.


Waste Processing at the Erwin, TN facility have demonstrated the following achievments:

  • Radionuclide retention in solids products has been >99.99999%
  • Cs >99.9999991%
  • Tc >99.999998%
  • Co >99.9999995%

Over 250,000 cu. ft. of highly radioactive ion exchange resins, carbon, oils, plastic, cellulose, and other organic and aqueous wastes have been processed for more than 42 customers, including most nuclear power stations and nuclear fuel vendors in the United States.

Over 1,600 shipments of final product have been achieved.

SPF Disposal

Final Disposal Container

SPF General Arrangement
SPF Support

SPF Support Equipment

Click the files below to access more SPF pictures.