Office of Environmental Management

Crews Stabilizing Hanford Waste Storage Tunnel

October 9, 2018

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Trucks carry engineered grout from a nearby batch plant to the PUREX Plant Tunnel 2, where pumps insert the grout using piping connected to existing openings in the top of the tunnel.
Trucks carry engineered grout from a nearby batch plant to the PUREX Plant Tunnel 2, where pumps insert the grout using piping connected to existing openings in the top of the tunnel.
Lights and cameras recently installed inside the PUREX Plant Tunnel 2 allow workers to monitor the grout flowing into the tunnel.
Lights and cameras recently installed inside the PUREX Plant Tunnel 2 allow workers to monitor the grout flowing into the tunnel.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Trucks are delivering engineered grout to stabilize a waste storage tunnel on the Hanford Site.

   Last week, EM’s Richland Operations Office (RL) authorized contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) to begin filling Tunnel 2 at the Plutonium Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant.

   PUREX Tunnel 2 is at risk of collapse, as documented in an engineering evaluation performed after PUREX Tunnel 1 collapsed in May 2017. The risk of collapse was further documented following video camera inspections from February through April 2018 that showed corrosion of steel support beams and brackets in Tunnel 2.  

   “Grout placement will protect workers, the public, and the environment, while not precluding future options for disposition,” said Al Farabee, RL project director for waste management. 

A mobile batch plant near PUREX Plant Tunnel 2 will mix approximately 43,000 cubic yards of grout to stabilize the tunnel.
A mobile batch plant near PUREX Plant Tunnel 2 will mix approximately 43,000 cubic yards of grout to stabilize the tunnel.

   It will take an estimated 5,000 truck trips to haul 43,000 cubic yards of grout to fill the 1,688-foot-long Tunnel 2. To reduce impact to site traffic, a nearby mobile batch plant mixes the grout.

   Cameras and lights recently installed in Tunnel 2 help crews monitor the flow of the grout. This video explains the tunnel stabilization project.

   “Thank you to everyone at CHPRC for helping to ensure we were ready to place grout,” said Mark Wright, vice president of CHPRC’s project technical services. “From purchasing, to environmental planning, engineering and radiological control — everyone across our company helped ensure a smooth, safe start to this important risk reduction effort.”

   Stabilization is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

 

 

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