Columbia Energy designed and constructed a second Mobile Arm Retrieval System (MARS) configuration for high level waste tanks with suspected leak sites.

The Mobile Arm Retrieval System (MARS) Vacuum mobilizes waste using high-pressure, low-volume spray nozzles on an end-effector assembly fitted with an eductor-driven vacuum head.  This configuration reduces the volume of water added to the tank environment at any one time and minimizes additions of free standing liquids.


Columbia Energy performed fabrication work under its NQA-1 program and ASME B31.3 at the Columbia Energy Fabrication              and Testing Center in Richland, Washington.

The system was deployed from the Columbia Energy Facility in July 2013.  The system underwent successful testing and operator training.


  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Conceptual & Detailed Design
  • 3D Modeling
  • Fabrication
  • NQA-1 Oversight
  • Construction
  • Testing
  • Operator Training

Design Features

  • Robotic / Hydraulic
  • Waste retrieval rate: 180-500 gals/hr
  • Radiation-hardened
  • CGD Components
  • Removing radioactive material from singe shell tanks
  • Reduces water volume in tanks
  • Minimizes additional water required for removal
  • Remotely operable



  • Telescoping arm with 5 extensions. Reach length: 36 ft
  • Turntable rotational range: 380 degrees with 10 degree overlap
  • Rotary Union with Integrated Hose Management System


  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS)
  • Office of River Protection (ORP)