Supplier collaboration effort continues at Vit Plant
Project Director Peggy McCullough discusses commercial-grade dedication with suppliers
The Hanford Vit Plant recently hosted a commercial-grade dedication (CGD) supplier collaboration workshop to continue its effort to ensure quality through increased engagement and open communication with its suppliers.
Representatives from eight of the Vit Plant’s key suppliers attended the event focused on improving CGD execution at all levels of the supply chain.
The workshop focused on suppliers that provide items and services with nuclear safety functions at the Vit Plant, which is managed by Bechtel National, Inc., (BNI) for the Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection (ORP).
The focus of the two-day workshop was to optimize CGD-related activities for application in the Vit Plant’s engineering, procurement, and construction environment through face-to-face collaboration, sharing of best practices and lessons learned, and leveraging supplier and subcontractor experience.
The Vit Plant team collected feedback from the suppliers on various topics to identify areas for improvement within the supply chain processes and ongoing collaboration opportunities with suppliers who are completing CGD activities for services, materials, and equipment for the Vit Plant.
This was the second event bringing Vit Plant and ORP managers and staff together with suppliers. A third event is planned for later this month.
Vit Plant receives test vessel to evaluate waste mixing
A 65-ton stainless steel test vessel is prepared to be barged up the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington in July
A vessel critical to determining the safe mixing and processing of radioactive waste arrived at the Hanford Vit Plant's testing facility in early July.
Testing will be conducted on the vessel to determine mixing performance using nonradioactive materials that are simulants of the actual waste stream. Proper mixing is required to safely process and treat the waste at the Vit Plant’s Pretreatment Facility.
The test vessel is a full-scale prototype of several vessels that are expected to be used to process liquid radioactive waste containing solids. It is 35 feet high with a 16-foot diameter and 22,000-gallon capacity.
The vessel was barged up the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington. Greenberry Industrial fabricated the vessel at its manufacturing facilities in Vancouver and Corvallis, Oregon.
It was loaded into the Full-Scale Vessel Test Facility in Richland through the roof and placed in a specially designed test stand. Reassembling the test stand and completing preparations for testing will take several months. The year-long testing program is expected to begin in late 2016.
Installation of the thermal catalytic oxidizer and ammonia dilution skid is a major element in completing construction of the LAW Facility.
Critical to the safe treatment of waste, the 60-ton thermal catalytic oxidizer and 7-ton ammonia dilution skid are part of the system that will remove toxic contaminants from the low-activity radioactive waste glass melter exhaust.
Called the off-gas system, it is needed to ensure the exhaust meets regulatory requirements for release to the environment.
Ionex Research Corp. fabricated and tested the thermal catalytic oxidizer and ammonia dilution skid in its facilities in Lafayette, Colorado.
The caustic scrubber, the final piece of the off-gas system, will be received later this year. It also will be the last major piece of equipment to be installed in the LAW.
The three pieces of equipment are part of the off-gas system that will convert volatile organic compounds to carbon dioxide and water vapor, convert nitric oxide to hydrogen and oxygen, remove acidic gases from the exhaust and cool the exhaust before releasing it through the stack.
Learn about the Hanford Vit Plant and the people who work there at the Vit Plant Virtual Open House, a web-based multimedia experience that features displays, videos, and photos about the project.
Each week, a new section of the virtual open house will be opened. The first section features a welcome video from Project Director Peggy McCullough and information about the history of Hanford. Later releases will highlight areas such as the construction site, Vit Plant facilities, and safety and quality.
Follow the Hanford Vit Plant on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to be the first to know when new sections are opened. Use #meetthevit to ask questions or share comments/feedback about the virtual open house.
Lori Baker, manager of Business Services at the Hanford Vit Plant, has been elected to the board of the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG), an organization that promotes excellence in operation and management of Department of Energy (DOE) facilities through the exchange of information and improvement initiatives.
“I’ve enjoyed participating in working-level activities with EFCOG and believe in the value of such an organization for our DOE customer,” Baker said. “As a board member, I’ll be more directly able to support EFCOG’s objectives and bring lessons learned from others to the Vit Plant.”
As manager of Business Services, Baker oversees the Prime Contract, Controller, Human Resources, IS&T, Office and Administrative Services, and Six Sigma organizations at the Vit Plant. She is responsible for ensuring Vit Plant contractual requirements are met and all service functions adhere to policies, client requirements and government regulations.
Baker has more than 25 years of experience in project management, procurement and contract management in commercial and government markets. Before taking on her current role, Baker managed the Vit Plant Procurement department and previously held the position of Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental manager of Procurement and Subcontracts in the corporate office.
Bechtel is a contractor at nine DOE projects or laboratories. Bechtel National, Inc. Operations Manager Michael Graham serves as vice-chairman of EFCOG.
My Mission: Tucker, Construction Superintendent
Tucker has more than 50 years of experience in the construction industry. He started as an electrician apprentice and progressed into construction management. He has worked in five countries and seven states on a myriad of power industry projects, including nuclear power plant modifications and expansions. He understands the quality required on a nuclear job, and he is applying that knowledge at the Hanford Vit Plant.
"This isn’t a typical construction job," said Tucker. "It requires more rigor and focus on safety and quality than any other job I’ve been on. It requires everyone to play their part—ask questions, raise issues, watch out for each other. Everyone here has to be A players and bring their A games, and that’s what we have—solid, very skilled craft and professionals who are committed to getting the job done right.”
Tucker has used his construction expertise to help build the Vit Plant for the past 12 years, serving in various construction management roles, including as area and project superintendent and now as superintendent for the plant’s support facilities and the Analytical Laboratory.
When complete, the Vit Plant will be used to stabilize Hanford’s nuclear waste into a solid glass form that is safe for the environment.
“We’re building a plant that will benefit our community, our state, and our nation, and it’s a great feeling to be a part of it," said Tucker.
In The Community
Volunteers serve local families at Mobile Food Bank
Vit Plant volunteers helped distribute food to needy families in the community at the Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank in August. Employees from Bechtel, AECOM and its Hanford affiliates, and KNDU-TV passed out more than 9,200 pounds of free produce, nutritious perishable products, and other groceries to more than 250 households.
Employees help build homes with Habitat for Humanity
Fifteen employees joined Habitat for Humanity this summer to help build homes for two families in Pasco. The morning shift laid sod and painted doors in a home for a single mother, and the afternoon shift primed walls for a soon-to-be-occupied house down the street. The Vit Plant has a long relationship with Habitat for Humanity in the Tri-Cities.
In The Details
By the numbers
The Vit Plant requires 264,000 cubic yards of concrete, which is enough concrete to fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Did you know?
Vitrification is a proven and reliable technology used at U.S. (Savannah River Site) and foreign (Sellafield) defense waste processing facilities. The process converts liquid radioactive and chemical waste into a solid, stable glass, eliminating environmental risks.
Watch the complete journey of the Vit Plant's test vessel being barged up the Columbia River. This 3 minute video follows the vessel from the fabrication facility in Vancouver, Washington, to its new home at the test facility in Richland.