First commissioning containers arrive at Vit Plant
A worker helps offload 20 containers that will hold Hanford's simulant and low-activity waste during the plant's commissioning phases arrived in October.
In October, the first batch of 20 specialty containers arrived at the Vit Plant from a Utah-based fabrication shop. The 7-foot tall, 4-foot wide stainless-steel containers will be filled with molten glass containing simulated and real low-activity tank waste during the plant’s cold then hot commissioning phases.
Earlier this year, Bechtel National, Inc., awarded contracts to Petersen, Inc., to supply low-activity waste containers and a spare melter for the Low-Activity Waste Facility. Petersen is an Ogden, Utah-based small business. The melter fabrication is progressing, and about 120 initial containers will be shipped to the Vit Plant throughout the fall and winter with more to follow in the future.
DOE-EM Senior Advisor William "Ike" White and Waste Treatment Completion Company Nuclear Facility Manager Mike Huyck stand by the low-activity waste containers that were received at the Vit Plant in October.
DOE Office of Environmental Management Senior Advisor William “Ike” White stopped at the Vit Plant during a visit to the Hanford Site the last week of October. White was visiting to view progress on the environmental cleanup mission. During his tour of the Vit Plant, White saw the first 20 containers that will hold waste simulant and tank waste that is vitrified, or immobilized in glass; visited the Analytical Laboratory; and walked through the Effluent Management Facility (EMF), the newest facility that will support DOE's Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) approach.
Pictured from left are Waste Treatment Completion Company’s Effluent Management Facility startup team members Greg Westby, Roger Tillenburg, James Jones, Duane Almond, Rhonda De Jonghe, and Pete Hingston..
By mid-November, Vit Plant workers recently completed construction of 15 more systems in the plant’s Effluent Management Facility (EMF) and turned them over to startup, meaning nearly 90 percent of EMF systems have been completed now. EMF is a new facility that, together with existing facilities, will enable the start of Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) treatment operations at Hanford.
As of early October, startup testing is complete for 11 systems which have been handed over to plant management to prepare for the commissioning phase. Startup testing is underway for 53 systems, and construction is nearing completion for the remaining 9 systems.
Vit Plant recognized for excellent safety performance
The Vit Plant is committed to completing the mission with safety at the forefront. In October, the Waste Treatment Completion Company (WTCC), the Vit Plant's subcontractor charged with safely completing the facilities necessary to support Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW), earned the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Superior Star award during a VPP Participants Association meeting and virtual symposium.
The VPP has three levels of recognition; Star, Merit and Demonstration. Contractors whose programs meet the requirements for outstanding safety and health programs receive Star recognition. The Superior Star award is given to Star VPP sites that demonstrate the effective use of challenging goals, as well as significant mentoring and community outreach efforts, and have recordable incident injury rates that are 50 percent better than the average of other U.S. businesses in the same industry.
The first weekend of November, the Vit Plant team completed Phase 2 paving activities in collaboration with local subcontractor Inland Paving. The team finished the job, creating a more polished look than ever before, as crews applied asphalt to the final stretch of Parking Lot F (pictured). Workers are putting on the finished touches by striping the roadways and parking lots. Paving activities for Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) are now 75 percent complete.
Vit Plant team raises more than $10,000 for Buddy Walk
The Vit Plant team continues to demonstrate its generosity, raising more than $10,000 for the Down Syndrome Association of the Mid-Columbia (DSAMC). This year's Buddy Walk took place on October 3 and was the DSAMC's first virtual walk.
In The Details
Featured photo: Maintaining the swabbing robots
Millwrights perform preventative maintenance and lubrication of the swabbing robot in the Low-Activity Waste Facility finishing line. The swabbing robot will perform swabbing operations of the low-activity waste containers. The robots are currently undergoing startup testing.