Sodium Pump Test Facility


The Sodium Pump Test Facility (SPTF) started operations in 1974 and continued through October 2001. Constructed in the early 70s, the SPTF was one of seven liquid metal test facilities at the ETEC used for research and development. The SPTF’s primary purpose was to provide a test bed for development, performance, and verification testing of large sodium pumps.

Both electric-magnetic and conventional pumps were tested at SPTF. The pumps were part of a larger effort to design safe and efficient thermal transfer loops for liquid metal cooled reactors. To test the pump, sodium in the facility was heated with electric heaters.


The SPTF was undergoing cleanup and closure activities when, based upon a request by DTSC all Decommissioning & Decontamination (D&D) activities in Area IV were stopped until completion of the Area IV Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

SPTF includes three steel framed, sided, and roofed buildings standing on concrete slab foundations. These buildings are no longer used for sodium pump testing. The reactive sodium has been removed from the facility. The building will be demolished and as much steel as possible will be recycled. The remaining waste will be disposed at approved landfills.

The area known as the 4056 Landfill served as a landfill in the 1960’s receiving excavated soil from the 4056 excavation, SPTF, and Building 4020.  Some concrete and asphalt were deposited in the 4056 Landfill.  Adjacent to the landfill area was a drum storage area.

RFI sampling has been conducted in the area.  Although no radiological constituents were expected, radiological screening was conducted prior to the RFI sampling. All debris was removed during the RFI sampling was screened for radiological constituents.  No radiological contamination was found during the investigation.  Some asbestos containing material was removed during the RFI sampling and disposed of in a off-site Class I landfill. 

Groundwater in the area is impacted and is being monitored as part of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory groundwater investigation. 

DOE is working with the DTSC to complete the chemical investigation in compliance with the 2010 Administrative Order on Consent.