Large vessels arrive at Vit Plant as EMF progress continues
Six large vessels have arrived at the Hanford Vit Plant in recent months to support direct feed low-activity waste operations at the Effluent Management Facility and bringing the project closer to vitrification as soon as 2022. EMF is the final building to be constructed before waste treatment can begin.
Two of the vessels are 40,000-gallon capacity effluent collection and sampling vessels, which were fabricated, welded, and tested at Newberg, Oregon-based Harris Thermal Transfer Products. Each weigh about 150,000 pounds and is 32 feet tall and 14 feet wide. These vessels will collect excess water generated through an evaporation process in the EMF for additional processing and disposal.
The other four are large corrosion-resistant process vessels that will aid the process to receive, hold, and transfer liquids throughout EMF. The vessels range in size and have a combined weight of more than 56 tons with a total capacity of more than 73,400 gallons. The largest of the vessels stands 45 feet tall with a 14-foot diameter and weighs 24.5 tons with a 38,000-gallon capacity. Washington state-based manufacturer Greenberry Industrial fabricated, welded, and tested the vessels at the company’s Vancouver, Washington, and Corvallis, Oregon, facilities.
Project Director speaks at Waste Management Symposia
Valerie McCain, Vit Plant project director, participated in the Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix as part of a panel called “Aligning Decision-Making to Deliver Timely Performance in Large Results-based Programs.” She shared how successfully Bechtel reaches back to its corporate offices for support on government projects such as the Vit Plant; how contractors can support STEM programs to build the next-generation workforce; and the incredible progress that Vit Plant workers are making toward cold and hot commissioning.
Analytical Laboratory enters startup phase
Employees inspect a system equipment tag inside the Analytical Laboratory.
Workers at the Vit Plant have completed turnover of the Analytical Laboratory systems to the full startup testing phase. The laboratory is the first major Vit Plant facility to complete systems turnover work.
The turnover comes after the laboratory’s lights, panels, and outlets were energized this past fall. Startup testing is now underway to verify the laboratory equipment and systems are in safe and working order for handover to the commissioning phase. Laboratory systems startup testing is anticipated to finish this year.
Employees raise $19,000 to support Junior Achievement
The Vit Plant raised nearly $19,000 for Junior Achievement of the Tri-Cities in March. Twenty-four teams of employees participated in the 23rd Annual Junior Achievement Bowling Classic. The Bechtel Foundation provided an additional donation of $25,000. The donations will help JA impact more than 11,000 students in the southeastern Washington area by teaching them real-world business skills.
Vit Plant employees inspire girls at STEM event
Several Hanford Vit Plant employees participated in an Introduce a Girl to Engineering event at the Richland Public Library. The Women@Bechtel - Richland Chapter coordinated the event as part of Engineers Week with volunteers also coming from the Vit Plant's NextGen group, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and other local companies. About 100 students participated in a half-dozen STEM activities, which included pocket-sized coding robots called Ozobots and tests to see how many coins a makeshift boat of aluminum foil could hold.
Engineers visit local classrooms for DiscoverE 2019
Vit Plant engineers visited more than 650 local students in 27 classrooms as part of DiscoverE 2019. The engineers visited local middle schools to present the benefits of careers in engineering fields to students. They also taught engineering principles through hands-on classroom activities, such as building bridges with marshmallows and toothpicks, demonstrating chemical reactions with “elephant toothpaste,” and building electric motors with magnets, batteries, and copper wire.
The Hanford Vit Plant has long supported DiscoverE, formerly known as Engineers Week, which is one of the oldest professional outreach efforts in America.
In The Details
By the numbers: 2018 economic impact
In 2018, the Hanford Vit Plant delivered substantial economic value across the region.
$191 million in subcontracts across Washington and Oregon with $164 million of that total remaining in the Tri-Cities.
$800,000 in donations to Tri-Cities nonprofits.
2,700 employees, including 850 craft personnel and 300 veterans
$350 million in payroll.
Did you know? Effluent Management Facility utility building
The Effluent Management Facility (EMF) utility building is located to the south of the EMF and will house HVAC equipment and various Balance of Facilities (BOF) utility system equipment used in support of the EMF process and ventilation systems. The utility building is approximately 112 feet long, 70.5 feet wide, and 28 feet tall. Employees in the photo are erecting scaffolding at the building.
Featured photo: Women's History Month
It takes major talent to build a plant as complex as the Vit Plant. March is Women's History Month, and we celebrate the hundreds of women who are part of the highly competent and creative group of diverse workers determined to achieve the Vit Plant's mission and protect the Columbia River and the public from the threat of Hanford's nuclear tank waste.