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Hanford Forward - Winter 2014 Flipbook PDF

The HANFORD FORWARD is a quarterly publication covering Hanford cleanup news and progress. It features articles and rele


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ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 QUARTERLY PUBLICATION COVERING HANFORD CLEANUP NEWSHFOARNWFOARRDD COVER STORY B Reactor Celebrates 70 Years SITEWIDE Hanford 2014 CENTRAL PLATEAU Evaporator Campaign Creates Additional Tank Storage Space


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 AABBOOUUTT HHAANNFFOORRDDABOUT HANFORD HANFORD REACHThe Richland Operations Office (RL) oversees cleanup along the RIVERColumbia River and in Hanford’s Central Plateau, including groundwater CORRIDORand waste site cleanup, management of solid waste, spent nuclear fuel CENTRALand sludge, facility cleanout, deactivation and demolition, environmental PLATEAUrestoration, plutonium management, and all site support services. TANKSCH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CH2M HILL) is the The Office of River Protection (ORP) is responsible for the retrieval,prime contractor for the safe, environmental cleanup of the Central treatment and disposal of Hanford’s 56 million gallons of radioactive tankPlateau at the Hanford Site. This task includes decommissioning and waste, currently stored in 177 underground tanks in the central part ofdemolishing the Plutonium Finishing Plant that once stored secret the site. In support of this mission, ORP manages the Tank Operationsmaterial for the nation’s defense, cleaning up plumes of contaminated Contract and the Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project.groundwater beneath the site, and removing highly radioactive“sludge” away from the Columbia River.HPMC Occupational Medical Services (HPMC OMS) provides Advanced Technologies and Laboratories (ATL) International, Inc.occupational medical services to the Department of Energy and is an award-winning technology, engineering, scientific, and projectHanford prime contractors and subcontractors. HPMC OMS has management services provider to the U.S. Department of Energy.clinics in Richland and in the 200 West area of the site and is ATL operates the 222-S nuclear laboratory that is fully compliantresponsible for the medical surveillance, medical qualification, with the most stringent business, safety, health, quality, and technicalhealth, and wellness needs of more than 7,500 Hanford workers. requirements in the country. In 2008, ATL was awarded DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star award for outstandingA joint venture between Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering health and safety performance at the Hanford Site.and WSI, Mission Support Alliance (MSA) is responsible for safelyand effectively managing and operating the infrastructure of the Bechtel National Inc. is designing, building and commissioning theHanford Site. MSA provides an array of services, including training, world’s largest radioactive and chemical waste treatment plant. URS issite security, roads and utilities, logistics and transportation, BNI’s principal subcontractor. The Waste Treatment and Immobilizationinformation resources, information technology and other services, Plant is being built for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford Siteenabling Hanford contractors to focus on their cleanup efforts. in southeastern Washington state. When completed, it will be used to solidify the radioactive liquid waste stored in 177 aging underground tanks using a process called vitrification.Washington Closure Hanford (WCH) manages the 220-square-mile Maintaining the underground waste storage tanks at Hanford falls underRiver Corridor Closure Project for the Department of Energy’s Richland the jurisdiction of Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS). ThisOperations Office at the Hanford Site. The project is the largest environ- organization is responsible for storing and retrieving the approximatelymental cleanup closure project in the nation. Washington Closure, 56 million gallons of nuclear and chemical waste stored in these tanksowned by URS, Bechtel and CH2M HILL, is responsible for demolishing at the Hanford Site. WRPS is owned by URS Corporation and Energy320 contaminated buildings, cleaning up an estimated 590 waste sites, Solutions, with AREVA as the primary subcontractor.placing two former plutonium production reactors and one nuclearfacility in interim safe storage, and managing the Environmental 2Restoration Disposal Facility.


ISSUE 051 – WSPINRTINEGR 20134 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE of CONTENTS 04 Historic B Reactor Turns 70. The community celebrates the 70th 05 06 anniversary the world’s first production-scale nuclear reactor. 06 07 New Simulation Training Gets Workers Out of Classroom. 08 New hands-on training course assists employees in identifying hazards in 10 the work environment. 12 Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management Visits Hanford. Acting Assistant Secretary for EM Mark Whitney visits Plutonium Finishing Plant, the B Reactor and several other facilities. WRPS Awarded VPPPA Award. Washington River Protection Solutions receives the 2014 Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) Safety and Health Outreach Award. Washington Closure Hanford Uses Explosives to Clean Below-Grade Reactor Structure. Explosives were chosen over heavy machinery because of the thickness of the concrete. DOE, Washington Closure Hanford Complete Recycling Project. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and contractor Washington Closure recently teamed up to complete a major recycling effort during cleanup of the Hanford Site. Backfill Campaign Underway in 100 Area. Washington Closure Hanford expects to use more than 3-million tons of clean material to complete the campaign. Hanford 2014. Cleanup stats for Fiscal Year 2014. 13 Workers Enter Cocooned F Reactor for Scheduled 14 Inspection. Inspection marks the first time workers have stepped 15 16 inside the reactor since 2008. 17 18 Evaporator Campaign Creates Additional Tank Storage 18 Space. Since October 2010, the 242-Evaporator has created nearly 19 19 800,000 gallons of double-shell tank storage space. Workers Begin Cleaning Out Hanford’s Historic McCluskey Room. Workers enter one of the most hazardous rooms at Hanford to begin final cleanup of processing equipment. 12-ton Overhead Crane Placed at the High-Level Waste Vitrification Facility. The crane spans 33 feet and will be used to transport stainless steel canisters. Hanford Releases Interactive Groundwater Report. The 2013 report is now available for the public to view. DOE Names New Richland Operations Manager. Stacy Charboneau brings more than 20 years of Hanford experience to the position. Report Recommends Improvements for Managing Tank Vapors. WRPS takes an important step to address improvements in the management of tank farm vapors. “Quit It” Program Helps Hanford Kick Nicotine Addiction. Program gives Hanford employees the best possible chance at living a tobacco-free life. Hanford Advisory Board Turns 20. The HAB was created to provide policy-level advice on Hanford cleanup issues. 3


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDECommunity Reflects on Pivotal Moment in History with B ReactorBuses carried about 200 members of the community “Congratulations to everyone here for havingby the remains of an old high school, bank, and other done something so wonderful for this country.relics of former Hanford town sites once home to tensof thousands of workers who produced plutonium for The success of the B Reactor did not endthe Manhattan Project, World War II, and the Cold War. with the conclusion of World War II.”The visitors arrived at a celebration where historians,elected officials, and others shared recollections of the David Klaus, Department of Energy deputy under secretarynational landmark known as B Reactor. for management and performanceThey gathered to commemorate the world’s first ”I can’t tell you how proud I am to have been partproduction-scale nuclear reactor, marking exactly of this with all of you,” he said.70 years since its official startup at 10:48 p.m. onSept. 26, 1944, and enjoy refreshments and music Docents, among them former B Reactor workers, gavefrom that era. tours of the facility, which was shut down in 1968.David Klaus, Department of Energy deputy under Mindi Linquist, state director for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray,secretary for management and performance, who read a tribute to the B Reactor that had been enteredwas involved in the early efforts to have the reactor into the Congressional record.recognized as a national landmark, offered remarkson behalf of DOE. (CONT’D)Klaus was among a handful of recipients of a specialaward from the Hanford History Partnership forsignificant contributions toward the preservationof the Manhattan Project legacy. 4


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDEB Reactor (cont’d)DOE’s Richland office came together with the Hanford David Klaus, DOE under secretary forHistory Partnership to organize the event. Other management and performance, speaksorganizations that worked on the event include the to people gathered for the 70th anni-Tri-City Development Council, Visit Tri-Cities, the City versary of the startup of the B Reactor.of Richland, and the B Reactor Museum Association. “We mark 70 years since startup of B Reactor“What’s meaningful is that EM and the community and as more time passes, it becomes evenpartnered on an event to showcase such an important more urgent that we find and recordmoment in our nation’s history,” said EM’s Richland memories of all those associated with theOperations Office government programs manager Manhattan Project and Cold War. AsColleen French, who serves as the B Reactor important as facilities are, it’s the people andPreservation Project Manager. “I think it exemplifies stories that make the history come alive.”how far we’ve come in working together to preserveit and tell its story to future generations.” French Colleen French, EM’s Richland Operations Office government programsemphasized that capturing history from this wartime manager and B reactor preservation project managerera becomes all the more necessary as years go by. nNew SIMULATION TRAININGGets Workers OUT of CLASSROOMWTP Safety Assurance is rolling out a new hands-on “We’ve made this hard on purpose,” Fasso said.training course to assist in improving employees’ “The work in the first scenario is covered by 16 differentabilities to identify hazards in the work environment. procedures. However, that’s typical of the 10-16 procedures that govern most work tasks.”“We’ve done a lot of classroom and computer-basedtraining,” said Jerry Fasso, WTP field safety assurance So far, only managers, foremen, general foremen andmanager. “This training is designed to mirror the work supervisors have been through the first two scenarios.environment, outside of the classroom, while trying to “The intent is to sharpen their eyes when it comes toincrease retention of the lessons being taught.” identifying and correcting adverse behavior when performing their oversight function,” Fasso said.WTP Safety Assurance set up two work stations inthe Pretreatment Facility canyon area. Each includes The training sheds light on the complexity of thea scenario similar to what would be found at work requirements to perform work at WTP. “We’ve incorpo-stations on the construction site. rated that complexity into the scenarios,” Fasso said. nEach station has a number of issues to identify related Ray Charvat (right), areato safety, training, environmental, industrial hygiene, superintendent, andSTARRT safety analysis card signoff, etc. Employees are Joe Frank, assistantto record all the hazards they identify. “In terms of how superintendent, identifymany there are, let’s just say there are between 1 and hazards as part of new,50,” Fasso said. hands-on training. WTP Safety Assurance developedThe first scenario involves installing pipe supports and the simulations to supple-structural steel using an aerial lift. The second scenario ment classroom andinvolves drilling into concrete at height. They plan to have computer-based training.12-14 scenarios that would change out periodically. 5


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 TANKSAssistant Secretary for EMMark Whitney Visits HanfordTank Farms Assistant Manager Tom Fletcher (right) briefs Mark Whitney, acting assistant secretary for Environmental Management (secondfrom left) and Alison Markovitz, senior advisor to the energy secretary, at one of the Hanford tank farms.Acting Assistant Secretary for EM, Mark Whitney, spent Having been here earlier in the year, Whitney visited thetwo days at Hanford, one with the Office of River Protection 100-K Area, the Plutonium Finishing Plant, the 200(ORP) and one with the Richland Operations Office (RL). West Pump-and-Treat Facility, and the Central WasteHe was joined by Alison Markovitz, senior advisor to the Complex. He also took a tour of the B Reactor Nationalsecretary, Todd Shrader, the headquarters program director Historic Landmark.for the Waste Treatment Plant and Tank Farms, andCandice Trummell, EM director for external affairs. Later in his visit, Whitney was the guest of honor at a community reception, hosted by TRIDEC and other community leaders. nWRPS RECEIVESNational VPPPA AWARDWashington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) small businesses, agriculture groups and otherPresident and Project Manager Dave Olson and Safety organizations. WRPS also initiated a health and safetyand Health Manager Clint Wolfley have been awarded mentoring program that supplied course information tothe 2014 Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ universities that included Central Washington UniversityAssociation (VPPPA) Safety and Health Outreach Award and Boise State University. WRPS also donated $1,000by the VPPPA National Board of Directors. to the American Red Cross to improve safety and health outreach efforts in the Tri-Cities.The purpose of the Safety and Health Outreach Awardis to recognize Voluntary Protection Program models “This is truly an impressive and commendable accom-who reach out to share the safety, health, technical and plishment,” said Tom Webb, VPPPA strategic develop-management expertise developed at their worksites. ment and member services manager. “Dave Olson and Clint Wolfley deserve credit and acknowledgement forAmong WRPS’ outreach activities was SafetyFest placing such a high personal priority on the safety ofTri-Cities, which provided free safety training for local WRPS employees at Hanford.” n 6


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDORWashington Closure Hanford UsesExplosives to Clean Below-GradeReactor StructureSince the removal of the 1,100-ton Plutonium Recycle Nearly 1,000 pounds of explosives were detonated during theTest Reactor (PRTR) in January 2014, Washington successful below-grade demolition at the site of the formerClosure Hanford (WCH) in the 300 Area successfully Plutonium Recycle Test Reactor.fractured the below-ground parts of the structure forexcavation by using explosives. The PRTR is the last “Some walls and the deck were made of a heavyof the six test reactors in the 300 Area and represents aggregate concrete, which is almost twice as dense asanother major cleanup. regular concrete,” said Mark French, federal projectExplosives were chosen over the typical heavy machinery director of the River Corridor. “This made the demolitionbecause of the thickness of the concrete. The structure especially challenging.”reached as deep as 60 feet below grade and had 5- to13-foot-thick concrete walls that once supported and WCH hired Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) toshielded the test reactor. perform the demolition. CDI drilled approximately 300 holes into the deck, columns, and walls of the structure. The broken-up debris that remains after the explosive Once drilling was complete, they loaded the charges into demolition is being removed and transported to the the holes for the demolition. Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility for disposal. By using the explosives, there was a cost savings of approximately $1.5 million. The savings came from machinery repairs that would have been necessary had the same work been done using traditional demolition techniques. It also was the safer approach for workers who would have had to dismantle the structure with machinery from above and work down in the 32-foot- deep structure. Once the load out of the rubble from the explosion is complete, the area where the PRTR once stood will be sampled. If the area meets cleanup standards, some of the remaining structure that is 60 feet deep will be left in place and backfilled. If not, a second demolition will be scheduled for further cleanup in 2015. n 7


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDORDOE, Washington Closure HanfordCOMPLETE RECYCLING PROJECTAbout $400,000 saved by recycling electrical substation components in 300 AreaThe U.S. DOE and contractor Washington Closure To complete the recycling effort, WCH worked with aHanford teamed up to complete a major recycling small business, Transformers Technologies of Salem,effort during cleanup of the Hanford Site. Ore., on a “materials for service” contract. The contract allowed Transformer Technologies to keep theThe work involved removing an electrical substation recovered material—copper, steel and oil—as payment.in the north end of Hanford’s 300 Area that was thecenter of Hanford’s radiological research and nuclear A local company, Lampson Crane of Kennewick,fuel fabrication facilities for nearly 60 years. performed the rigging and lifting activities. The entire project took about two months to complete.Cleanup of the 300 Area is part of the River Corridor Transformer Technologies previously removed andClosure Project. The River Corridor is a 220-square- recycled two other substations in the 100 Area.mile section of the site that borders the Columbia River The substations near B Reactor and the D andand is DOE’s largest environmental closure project. DR reactors were demolished in early 2014. (CONT’D)Copper, steel, and oil recovered during demolition will berecycled by Transformer Technologies. 8


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDORComplete Recycling Project (cont’d)Mark French, federal project director said of the River Over 16,500 gallons of PCB-contaminated oil has been safelyCorridor, “Recycling the substation material saves shipped off the Hanford site to licensed facilities in Oregon andtaxpayers $400,000. Because the subcontractor Alabama for reprocessing and re-use.received payment by recycling the recoverable material,we saved cleanup funding, eliminated the repair costsassociated with the wear and tear on equipment andwe freed up workers to concentrate on other Hanfordcleanup projects.”The substation was constructed in 1949 and expandedas needed to meet the growing needs for power in the300 Area. It is the third substation WCH has removedunder a recycling contract since beginning work on theRiver Corridor in 2005.Mark Allen, who oversaw the project for WCH, said allof the work was performed safely and compliantly, andresulted in the recycling of more the 400,000 poundsof transformer, oil, circuit breakers, wire, and otherelectrical components. “More than 16,500 gallons of PCB-contaminated oil was safely shipped off of the Hanford Site to licensed facilities in Oregon and Alabama for reprocessing and reuse.” Mark Allen, Washington Closure HanfordTransformer Technologies specializes in dismantlingand recycling used electrical equipment and has accessto disposal and reprocessing facilities authorized bythe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All of thesubstation components were sampled for polychlori-nated biphenyl (PCB) contamination; the scrap metalis treated and the PCB-contaminated oil is processedto remove the PCBs. n 9


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDORWashington Closure BACKFILLCampaign is Under Way in 100 AREA726,000 tons of clean material was used to backfill 98 wastesites at 100-N Reactor Area. Revegetation will occur in the latefall or early spring.The Hanford Site is known for the nine plutonium RESTORING CLEANED-UP AREASproduction reactors built during World War II and theCold War. Surrounding the reactors were hundreds In the 100-B/C Area, the C-7 area was a massiveof buildings that supported reactor operations. Once restoration project covering more than 120 acres. Theoperations ended in the 100 Areas, Washington Closure C-7 waste site, consisting of two 85-feet-deep holes,Hanford was assigned to clean up the 220-square-mile reached groundwater, and has been called the prototypeRiver Corridor where the reactors are located. for backfilling and revegetation—the site was backfilled and recontoured, resulting in a more natural lookingWorkers are in the process of completing a backfill landscape. As a result, the team was able to savecampaign at cleaned-up waste sites in the 100-B/C, money and promote a better habitat.100-D, 100-F, 100-H, 100-K, and 100-N Reactor Areas,as well as the IU2 & 6 sites. Once the backfill is complete, “As part of restoration and recontouring efforts weworkers will begin to revegetate the areas. WCH is also helped the project create a plan for strategicexpecting to use a total of 3 million tons (34,000 truck- redistribution of a large number of boulders that hadloads) of clean material from the Hanford Site to complete previously been unearthed during remediation activities,”the backfill campaign. To date, 1.2 million tons of clean said James Bernhard, WCH natural resources lead.material has been used at the 100 B/C Reactor Area, and “We created pockets throughout the backfilled area and726,000 tons of clean material was needed at the 100-N incorporated the boulders to provide another dynamicReactor Area. It will take close to a year to complete the source for wildlife habitat. By doing so, we were ablebackfill work at the 100-D and 100-H Reactor Areas, to save the company money and, more importantly,and then revegetation will be completed during the promote a more natural looking and sustainablewinter planting season. habitat for wildlife.” (CONT’D) 10


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDOR The revegetation team at 100-C-7 seeded nearly 3,000 pounds of native bunchgrass seed and planted roughly 78,000 shrub tubelings of three different species.Backfill Underway (cont’d)The same was done at the 100-N Reactor Area. backfill started in 2007, the backfill subcontractorsThe backfill will be about 14 percent below flat grade have successfully and safely met a total of 20 Tri-Partyfor areas where a backfill design is not already in place. Agreement milestones. The backfill and revegetationThe backfill campaign will leave the area with a more team was able to perform all cleanup activities withoutnatural looking appearance. The revegetation season a recordable injury.will occur in the late fall to early spring. “We were able to reduce risk of injury by communicatingMEETING MILESTONES SAFELY AND ON TIME and working together as a team,” said Ron Morris, WCH’s subcontract technical representative onIn the last 20 months the backfill team has met six the project. nTri-Party Agreement milestones on schedule, and since 11


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDEHANFORD2014It’s been a busy year across the Hanford Site. In FiscalYear (FY) 2014, workers completed the majority of workplanned for the year. This included the complete decon-tamination and demolition of the 11 remaining surplusfacilities, the remediation of 1.8 billion gallons of contami-nated groundwater and the complete cleanup of chromiumcontamination at several waste sites in the 100 area.The table below highlights some of the cleanupaccomplishments that have been made to date alongwith the tasks that remain.SQ MILES Footprint of active cleanup 53 sq miles of additional 107 sq miles reduced to 160 sq miles footprint reduction cleanup remainingSITES 1,066 sites 1,165 sites remediated 74 sites remaining remediated 823 facilities remainingFACILITIES 805 facilities 33 facilities Ongoing demolished demolished OngoingGALLONS 8.44 billion gallons 1.8 billion gallons treated treated OngoingTANKS 10 tanks retrieved 4 tanks retrieved FutureTONS 15.3 million tons of soil, 1.4 million tons sent to debris sent to ERDF* ERDF 1989 – FY13 FY14Other important accomplishments include the disposition The accomplishments of the past year are examples ofof 25 pencil-shaped tanks at the Plutonium Finishing how all of the contractors have worked together toPlant and the complete cleanup of the 618-10 Burial ensure progress toward a safe and successful cleanup ofGround Trenches. the Hanford Site. This could not have been done without the dedication and commitment of everyone involved. n*Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility 12


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 RIVER CORRIDORWorkers Enter COCOONED F REACTORfor Scheduled INSPECTIONInspection ensures reactors are safe, secureWorkers from Mission Support Alliance removed the “This inspection gives us an opportunity towelds around the steel door of the F Reactor in October conduct radiological surveys, make any repairs tobefore stepping inside the reactor to complete its the roof and remove any hazardous substances.periodic inspection. This is the first time the Department During the inspection, workers found the reactorof Energy (DOE) has had the reactor open since 2008. to be in good shape and almost identical to theThe F Reactor is one of nine reactors along the Columbia last time it was inspected.”River at the DOE’s Hanford Site, where environmentalcleanup has been ongoing since 1989. Rick Moren, MSA director of Long-term StewardshipAs part of the Tri-Party Agreement, the DOE completes With the inspections complete, the reactor door hassurveillance and maintenance activities of cocooned been re-sealed until the next entry period.reactors periodically to evaluate the structural integrityof the safe storage enclosure and to ensure confinement As a part of DOE’s Long-term Stewardship Program,of any remaining hazardous materials. workers will inspect four other cocooned reactors— C, D, H and N—next spring. A sixth cocooned reactor, “This entry marks a transition of sorts because DR, was inspected in 2013 and is not included in the the Hanford Long-term Stewardship Program, 2015 entry schedule.for the first time, was responsible for conducting Note: A link to the YouTube video of the F Reactor the entry and surveillance and maintenance inspection is at http://youtu.be/xwtqEMKbglI n activities. As the River Corridor cleanup work is completed and transitioned to long-term stewardship, our program will manage any on-going requirements.” Keith Grindstaff, DOE Long-term Stewardship Program managerThe F Reactor, the last of the three original plutoniumproduction reactors constructed during World War II,operated from 1945 to 1965. The reactor was sealed in asecure, cocooned state in 2003. The cocooning process,also called interim safe storage, allows time for radiationlevels to decay.Workers from MSA inspect a wall as a part of the 5-year inspectionof the F Reactor. The reactor was found to be in good shape. 13


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 TANKS242-A Evaporator Campaign CreatesADDITIONAL TANK STORAGE SpaceLEFT PHOTO: The 242-A Evaporator is operated from a central control room where waste from Hanford’s tanks is processed to removeexcess water, creating additional double-shell tank storage. CENTER and RIGHT PHOTOS: The 242-A Evaporator’s first campaign in nearlyfour years removed almost 800,000 gallons of liquid from the double-shell tanks.The 242-A Evaporator, operated by the Office of River Before being processed in the evaporator, waste isProtection’s (ORP) Tank Operations Contractor, analyzed to establish its makeup. This information isWashington River Protections Solutions (WRPS), recently used to determine how the waste acts during and aftercompleted a processing campaign, removing 791,000 the evaporation process, and how much water can begallons of excess water from Hanford’s double-shell safely removed. The liquid waste is then pumped to thetanks of high-level radioactive and chemical waste. evaporator through double-walled underground transfer lines, where it is heated in a sealed vessel under a“This campaign was very successful,” said Mat Irwin, vacuum such that the boiling point of the waste isORP Tank Farm Operations Division Director. “We’ve reduced to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature isreduced the waste volume in the double-shell tank 100 to 110 degrees lower than normal for tank wasteinventory by nearly 800,000 gallons. This was right on slurry to boil under typical atmospheric pressure. Thetarget with our engineering calculations based upon the vapor is then captured, condensed, filtered, sampledsteam condensate system upgrades.” and sent to the nearby Liquid Effluent Retention Facility for further treatment and storage. The remaining slurry isBuilt over three years beginning in 1974, the 242-A returned to the tanks.Evaporator launched its initial waste volume reductioncampaign in 1977. Since then, more than 60 campaigns “We completed numerous upgrades to help ensure thehave been completed, removing nearly 68 million gallons facility remains operational,” said Brian Von Bargen, theof water from tank waste and reducing the volume 242-A Evaporator manager at WRPS. “They includedstored in the double-shell tanks to make room for waste new engineered safety systems, an upgraded steamretrieval from single-shell tanks. The evaporator’s last condensate system, a new dip-tube flush system,campaign was in October 2010. upgraded instrumentation for 88 instruments, and new feed and slurry jumpers.”“The 242-A Evaporator is critical to the safe and timelycleanup of Hanford’s tank waste,” said Irwin. “The Additional waste volume reduction campaigns areevaporator creates additional storage space in the scheduled in fiscal year 2015 to reduce anotherdouble-shell tanks, which allows the contractor to 1.4 million gallons of liquid in the double-shell tanks. nretrieve, transfer and store waste from single-shelltanks until it can be permanently disposed.” 14


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 CENTRAL PLATEAUWorkers Begin Workers have entered one of the most hazardousCleaning Out rooms at the Hanford Site to begin final cleanup of aHanford’s Historic room that became known by the name of a workerMcCluskey Room injured there in a Cold War-era accident.Safely cleaning out room is key step toward A crew with contractor CH2M HILL Plateau RemediationPlutonium Finishing Plant demolition Company donned specially designed suits to protect them from contamination before entering the “McCluskey Room” at the site’s Plutonium Finishing Plant. One of the first tasks for the crew is improving ventilation and airflow to better protect workers from the airborne contamination in the room as they clean out the room and its equipment. “This was the first of multiple entries workers will make to clean out processing equipment and get the McCluskey Room ready for demolition along with the rest of the plant. It has taken a year to prepare for this first entry. The time and effort workers put into finding the right equipment and training will ensure they are as prepared as possible to remain safe during the cleanup.” Bryan Foley, acting federal project director for the Department of Energy Over the next year, workers will remove large pieces of processing equipment, including glove boxes and tanks. Glove boxes are large, sealed containers with windows and glove ports that allow workers to manipulate equipment inside while protecting them from contamination in the containers. The room was used to recover americium – a highly radioactive plutonium byproduct – during the Cold War. The space is commonly referred to by workers as the “McCluskey Room,” after worker Harold McCluskey was injured in 1976 when a vessel inside a glove box burst and exposed him to radioactive material. McCluskey, who was 64 at the time, lived for 11 more years and died from causes not related to the accident. (CONT’D) Bryan Harting, nuclear chemical operator for CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company, was part of the crew that made the first entry to begin final cleanup of the McCluskey Room at Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant in September. 15


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 CENTRAL PLATEAUHanford’s Historic McCluskey Room (cont’d)Numerous hazards remain in the room as a result of the “The employees helped choose the equipment,accident, including airborne radioactivity and surface trained on the equipment, and gave us feedbackcontamination. For this work, employees are using on its performance in training. Their input helpedadvanced supplied-air systems and protective suits never us make some adjustments along the way andbefore used on the Hanford Site. The suits offer better has been the key to being able to enter the roomprotection from surface contamination and chemicals,improved communication, and a dual-purpose air system safely as we start this challenging cleanupthat provides purified air for breathing and cool air through- project.”out the suit. The system keeps workers cooler, allowingthem to work safer and for longer periods of time. Mike Swartz, CH2M HILL’s vice president for the Plutonium Finishing Plant closure projectSince 2008, the Department of Energy and contractorCH2M HILL have been preparing the Plutonium MEDIA AVAILABLE:Finishing Plant for demolition by removing much of theequipment and infrastructure inside the building that • Video footage of an entry into the McCluskeywas once used for plutonium processing. Of the plant’s Room: http://youtu.be/eANRwA_29k4238 glove boxes, 224 have been removed or cleanedout and readied for removal during demolition. Out of • Video of preparations to enter the McCluskey81 buildings that made up the plant during its history, Room: http://youtu.be/K-6bTvzBVA4 n63 have been removed.WTP’s HLW IMPORT BAY CRANE PlacedWaste Treatment Plant (WTP) workers placed a 12-ton The overhead crane assembly spans 33 feet.overhead crane in the import bay of the High-Level It includes a double-girder bridge and top-runningWaste Vitrification Facility (HLW). trolley and will be radio-controlled by an operator. Each canister is about 2 feet in diameter, 14.5-feetDuring operations, the crane will begin the process for tall and weighs more than 4 tons.preparing stainless steel canisters to receive vitrifiedhigh-level nuclear waste by transferring new, clean and A short video of the installation is available atempty canisters from a transport trailer in the truck bay http://youtu.be/rYLndhguNb8?list=UUthkCDmCCavQdto inside the HLW. QYtI_f5iKQ n The 12-ton high-level waste import bay crane will move stainless steel canisters from the transport trailer to the inspection/rotation table. 16


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDEHanford Releases INTERACTIVEGROUNDWATER ReportAerial of Hanford’s 100-D Area along the Columbia River, which is served by one of five pump treat systems along the Columbia River that arehelping shrink areas of contaminated groundwater.The U.S. DOE has released the Hanford Site Ground- in cleaning up the site. The goal of the interactive reportwater Monitoring Report for 2013. The report is is to improve our efforts by automating dating retrieval,produced annually to share data about the progress providing user-friendly data access, and maintainingbeing made in cleaning up contaminated groundwater transparency of all report content,” said Bill Faught,beneath the site. CHPRC’s groundwater sciences group manager.The contamination resulted from Hanford’s historic The interactive report contains the same text andplutonium production operations, when chemical and figures as the static paper copy, but also offers videoradioactive wastes were released into the environment tutorials to guide the reader through the report and itsand contaminated the soil and groundwater beneath features. Additional advantages over previous years’portions of the site. Since the 1990s, DOE has worked reports include:to remediate this contamination. • User-friendly navigation to quickly move to eachThe annual groundwater monitoring report is a key part report section and to display entire report chaptersof DOE’s commitment to share information about the at a time.site’s extensive groundwater monitoring program. • Enhanced tools to display and evaluate groundwater “The online viewing tool is easy to access and contaminant plumes, data, and geology. makes the information easier to understand. As opposed to the printed report, the online • Enhanced charting tool to plot groundwater dataversion is more engaging and offers several tools including multiple wells or multiple contaminants that help share and engage readers in the at a time. information.” • Enhanced plume tool to view the Hanford groundwater plumes and data used to construct Naomi Jaschke, DOE’s project lead the plumes.“The report is an important tool for sharing information • Enhanced ability to export data into severalwith our stakeholders about the progress we are making electronic formats.A screenshot of the new interactive online viewing tool for the • A geology tool that allows readers to draw a cross-Hanford Site Groundwater Monitoring Report. section at any orientation within the Hanford Site to display well information and geologic units. The publically available report features a new interactive web-based viewing tool available to the public at http:// www.hanford.gov/c.cfm/sgrp/GWRep13/start.htm. n 17


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDEDOE NAMES NEW RICHLANDOPERATIONS MANAGERThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named Stacy positions, including Acting DeputyCharboneau as the Manager of the Richland OperationsOffice (DOE-RL) at the Hanford Site. In this role, she will Manager and Assistant Manager for Stacy Charboneau,continue cleanup momentum along the Columbia River, helpshrink the Department’s active cleanup footprint, and conti- Safety and Environment at RL, ORP new manager of thenue safe groundwater remediation and hazardous waste Richland Operationsand facilities disposal operations across the Hanford Site. Deputy Manager and Chief Operating Office (DOE-RL) at Officer, ORP Tank Farms Project the Hanford Site“Stacy is a talented and seasoned senior executive with Assistant Manager and RL Deputytremendous technical and managerial expertise on allaspects of the Hanford cleanup,” said Mark Whitney, acting Assistant Manager for River Corridorassistant secretary for Environmental Management. “Hereducation, technical and programmatic expertise, and past cleanup. Before joining EM in 1994 as an engineer in theexperience make her uniquely qualified to lead the talentedworkforce responsible for completing the next and critical Waste Operations Division, Charboneau worked for thephase of the important RL cleanup work.” Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington.Charboneau brings more than 20 years of Hanford experi-ence from both RL and the Office of River Protection (DOE- RL is responsible for much of the cleanup of the 586-square-ORP) and holds the highest project management mile Hanford Site. In the first two decades of cleanup, RLcertification level available in the Department. has completed eighty percent of the cleanup activities along the Columbia River, moved all of the site’s 2,300 tons ofCharboneau has been the Acting Deputy Manager of RL spent nuclear fuel to dry storage away from the river,since June 2014. She has held several key leadership shipped all of the weapons grade plutonium once stored at the Plutonium Finishing Plant off the site, demolished 838 of 1,661 excess facilities, remediated 1,241 of 2,307 waste sites, placed five former plutonium production reactors in interim safe storage, and treated 11 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater. n TANKSReport Recommends Improve-ments for Managing Tank VaporsDOE’s tank farm contractor, Washington River recommendations on how to build on the steps thatProtection Solutions (WRPS), this summer took an have already been taken to reduce vapor exposures inimportant step to address improvements in the the tank farms. The report also identifies several areasmanagement of tank farm vapors. WRPS chartered the where additional research is needed to betterSavannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to conduct understand and further decrease vapor exposures.an independent assessment of tank farm vapor WRPS, with DOE’s support, began implementing manyexposure. The SRNL team included a Hanford Atomic of the key recommendations while the report was still inMetal Trades Council member as part of the review draft form.process to ensure worker insight and feedback wasincorporated into the final recommendations. DOE will use the results of the report to institutionalize improvements to ensure enduring changes are made toThe SRNL independent report, completed in October, the tank farms and ORP industrial hygiene programsprovides WRPS and DOE with additional insight and that will protect workers in the near term and into the future. n 18


ISSUE 05 – WINTER 2014 SITEWIDE“Quit It” Program Using the most up-to-date education and clinicalHelps Hanford Kick guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health andNicotine Addiction Human Services and the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, the “Quit It” program providesMany tobacco users think they can quit whenever they one-on-one health coaching, a weekly educationalwant. But quitting a nicotine addiction is much harder support group, and appropriate over-the-counterthan people think, especially with conflicting priorities products at no cost to participants.of home and work. Since “Quit It” began, over 45% of participants whoFor each reason people start using tobacco, there are completed the 10-week the program were stilljust as many reasons people want to quit. They may be tobacco-free after six months. This is an excellentconcerned about their health. They may want to save success rate and a tribute to the dedication of bothmoney, have more energy, or be a positive role model. staff and participants in creating a healthier Hanford!Their family and friends may be voicing concerns. In addition to the obvious health benefits of quitting tobacco use, employee participants report having higher self-esteem, greater productivity at work, and more time to do the things they enjoy. nHPMC Occupational Medical Services understands the ex-treme hold that nicotine can have on a person. Quittingtobacco is a process that sometimes ends in failure, but witheach quit attempt, users become closer to being tobaccofree. In 2009, HPMC developed the “Quit It” TobaccoCessation Program to give Hanford employees the bestpossible chance at living a tobacco-free life. Since then,over 190 Hanford employees have enrolled in the program.Hanford Advisory Board The Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) celebrated its 20th anniversary in November at the Red Lion Hanford House inCELEBRATES Richland. The HAB was created by the Tri-Party Agreement20 YEARS agencies – Washington State Department of Ecology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy – to provide policy-level advice on Hanford cleanup issues. 19