A transfer pump used in a waste tank for transferring high-level radioactive liquid waste from a waste tank and having a column assembly, a canned electric motor means, and an impeller assembly with an upper impeller and a lower impeller connected to a shaft of a rotor assembly. The column assembly locates a motor housing with the electric motor means adjacent to the impeller assembly which creates an hydraulic head, and which forces the liquid waste, into the motor housing to cool the electric motor means and to cool and/or lubricate the radial and thrust bearing assemblies. Hard-on-hard bearing surfaces of the bearing assemblies and a ring assembly between the upper impeller and electric motor means grind large particles in the liquid waste flow. Slots in the static bearing member of the radial bearing assemblies further grind down the solid waste particles so that only particles smaller than the clearances in the system can pass therethrough, thereby resisting damage to and the interruption of the operation of the transfer pump. The column assembly is modular so that sections can be easily assembled, disassembled and/or removed. A second embodiment employs a stator jacket which provides an alternate means for cooling the electric motor means and lubricating and/or cooling the bearing assemblies, and a third embodiment employs a variable level suction device which allows liquid waste to be drawn into the transfer pump from varying and discrete levels in the waste tank.
This invention was conceived or first reduced to practice in the course of, or under contract number DE-AC06-87RL10930 between the Westinghouse Hanford Company and the United States Government, represented by the Department of Energy. The United States Government may have rights in this invention.