RICHLAND, Wash. – EM Office of River Protection tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) recently took a significant step in ensuring continued safe storage of radioactive and chemical waste with the removal of a waste transfer pump from a double-shell tank.
Workers removed the 45-foot-long pump assembly from the tank and packaged it in a concrete disposal box for shipment to Hanford’s Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility.
Removing the pump from Tank AW-102 set the stage for workers to install a new pump in the 1-million-gallon-capacity tank.
“Tank AW-102 is the feed tank to Hanford’s 242-A Evaporator, which plays a critical role in the Hanford cleanup mission by boiling off water from tank waste to create more storage space in the double-shell tank system,” said Ricky Bang, EM tank farms program division director.
In recent years, WRPS has developed and deployed many unique tools that have enhanced worker safety and project efficiency when removing long-length pumps that transfer waste, sluicers to break up and retrieve waste, and thermocouples that monitor waste temperature.
The project to remove the pump from Tank AW-102 featured two new improvements for removing equipment from tanks: a high-pressure rinse to remove contaminated materials and a beta shielding bagging system that wraps equipment to control any remaining contamination.
“Removing contaminated long-length equipment is a high-risk activity that we will perform repeatedly to progress our mission, and we continue to identify ways to work more efficiently, reduce risk, and overcome challenging conditions,” said Jim Geary, manager of the WRPS tank farm projects organization.
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