07:54 AM

Key strategy helps Vit Plant support building take shape

Being in two places at once became a key strategy for Hanford Vit Plant employees in maintaining an aggressive construction schedule at the effluent management facility (EMF).

Employees recently installed two 40-ton process cell pipe racks into EMF that were constructed across the parking lot and pre-loaded with more than 3,000 linear feet of pipe and nearly 200 linear feet of cable tray. While those racks were being built over the past several months, another team was inside the facility making progress on special protective concrete coatings, process pump installations, and equipment installations.

Because of the congested footprint of the facility during the construction phase of EMF, completing scope outside of the building using modular construction concepts – a strategy widely used on other global Bechtel projects – allowed for concurrent construction that would have otherwise been completed in series.

This key strategy has reduced congestion risk and allowed timely progress on the final Vit Plant support building required to deliver the direct feed low-activity waste (DFLAW) vitrification approach.

The pipe racks are steel structures that will allow utilities to be run between areas of the facility to connect equipment and systems. Each rack measures roughly 25-feet tall, 20-feet wide, and 70-feet long and required the team to work a 16-hour shift with a heavy lift crane on the day of final installation. After the rack modules were flown into the main process facility, workers began bulk pipe installations within the building footprint.

During low-activity waste vitrification operations, secondary liquids will be generated from the melter off-gas system. These liquids will go to EMF where excess water will be evaporated away and transferred to Hanford’s Liquid Effluent Retention Facility, while the remaining concentrate sent back into the vitrification process.