Vit Plant awarded top certification for worker safety
Employees display a flag recognizing the Vit Plant as a U.S. Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program Star status site.
For the third consecutive time, the Hanford Vit Plant has earned the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) highest certification for excellence in occupational and health protection.
The Vit Plant was first awarded Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status in 2010, and was recertified in 2014 and again this year. Contractors whose programs meet requirements for outstanding safety and health programs receive this recognition.
Vit Plant safely installs 111-ton electrical powerhouse
Workers safely lower the first of three sections of a 111-ton electrical powerhouse for the Vit Plant’s Effluent Management Facility.
Workers recently performed a series of precision crane lifts to safely place and assemble a 111-ton electrical powerhouse for the Effluent Management Facility (EMF). With the powerhouse in place, crews can begin routing permanent plant electricity to the effluent facility, the last major construction project to support the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) approach.
The powerhouse contains a series of transformers, motor control centers, and more than 11,000 feet of electrical raceway and cable. The 13.8-kilovolt powerhouse will provide electricity to EMF systems and processing equipment.
The modular-style powerhouse was fabricated in Texas and transported atop a specialized semi-trailer truck to Washington. The powerhouse arrived in three pre-fabricated sections, which crews then assembled.
Collaboration with Lampson International delivers final vessels to EMF
Vit Plant crews work with Lampson International workers to offload the two massive vessels to the jobsite. They will be installed this summer in the Effluent Management Facility.
What weighs 160 tons, stands 40 feet tall, needs a barge and massive crane to transport, and will play a role in treating nuclear waste? A pair of vessels delivered recently to the Vit Plant.
These two vessels were transported by barge up the Columbia River, offloaded by Lampson International at the Port of Benton in Richland, and then delivered on a specialized trailer last week to the Vit Plant at Hanford. There, the vessels – called process condensate lag storage vessels – will be installed in the Effluent Management Facility (EMF), a key part of the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) process for treating low-activity tank waste as soon as 2022.
With arrival at EMF, the team will stage the vessels outside the facility and install pipe supports and piping before installing them into the structure.
Read more about the vessels and the extensive planning needed to ensure safe arrival at the Vit Plant at http://bit.ly/EMFvessels.
Technicians in training for deployment to Vit Plant
A group of 16 commissioning technicians went through a rigorous qualification process that trained them to manage the Vit Plant safely and compliantly and prepare it for operations.
During the World War II and Cold War plutonium production mission at Hanford, plants operated around the clock. It’s been more than 20 years since the Hanford Site was in a 24-hour production mode, but that’s changing.
Today, commissioning technicians are working a 24/7 shift schedule in the control room of the Low-Activity Waste Facility (LAW). For the past year, the project’s Plant Management organization has been training workers to run the plant, including on-site learning to manage the vast facility.
The latest group of 16 commissioning technicians was hired earlier this year and went through a rigorous qualification process that trained them to manage the Vit Plant safely and compliantly and prepare it for operations as early as 2022. Another class in planned to begin in July.
Bechtel National, Inc. donated $23,500 to Second Harvest Tri-Cities to fund childhood hunger-relief efforts in the Tri-Cities. The donation is added to Bechtel’s charitable contributions totaling almost $50,000 over the past three years to childhood hunger programs in our community.
Funding from Bechtel supports ongoing service to Second Harvest’s “Bite2Go” backpack program and local school pantries each school year. Both programs address a critical need, with one in five kids in Benton and Franklin counties being food-insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough healthy food and might not know where their next meal is coming from.
Vit Plant employees donated more than $16,000 and 500 pounds of food during to the 2019 Feeding Families Food Drive. The total combined contributions will provide more than 82,000 meals to local families in need from Second Harvest Tri-Cities. In addition to fundraising, volunteers helped sort the equivalent of 10,955 meals during a Help the Hungry Evening Food Sort at the Second Harvest distribution center in Pasco.
Bechtel supports Junior Achievement with $25,000 donation
Bechtel employees from the Vit Plant delivered a $25,000 contribution from the Bechtel Group Foundation to Junior Achievement of Washington, Southeastern Region - bringing its total contributions to JA since 2011 to $190,000. Vit Plant workers have long been supporters of JA in the Tri-Cities by visiting local classrooms to teach JA curriculum and participating in the annual bowling fundraiser. Employees raised nearly $19,000 for the event earlier this year.
Employee group plants flags during Memorial Day tribute
A group of 25 BSERV members and their families volunteered on Memorial Day to distribute and retrieve flags at the Historic Resthaven Cemetery in downtown Richland. The group helped to plant flags along the entrance road and throughout the cemetery to welcome those arriving to pay tribute on the holiday. BSERV (Bechtel Forum for Service Veterans, Reservists and the Military) is a business resource group at the Vit Plant that provides a collaborative forum that promotes the recruitment, development, and advancement of military service veterans.
In The Details
By the numbers: LAW Facility waste vitrification
In the Low-Activity Waste Facility, concentrated low-activity waste will be mixed with silica and other glass-forming materials. The mixture will be fed into the LAW’s two melters and heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass mixture will then be poured into stainless steel containers, which are 4 feet in diameter, 7 feet tall and weigh more than 7 tons. The facility will annually produce approximately 1,100 containers.
Did you know? All Analytical Laboratory systems turned over
All 34 Analytical Laboratory systems have been turned over from construction to startup. Testing is now underway to verify the laboratory equipment and systems are in safe and working order for handover to the commissioning phase. The turnovers included electrical, mechanical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and high purity gases systems.
Featured photo: EMF after dark
Work continues at the Effluent Management Facility after dark. A group of Hanford Vit Plant employees have been working a 24/7 rotating shift schedule since February to support Plant Management activities.