Teams with contractors Central Plateau Cleanup Company and Hanford Mission Integration Solutions recently recovered spent fuel containers from former plutonium production activities on the Hanford Site.
Teams with contractors Central Plateau Cleanup Company and Hanford Mission Integration Solutions recently recovered spent fuel containers from former plutonium production activities on the Hanford Site.

RICHLAND, Wash.EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractors Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) and Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS) worked together recently at the Hanford Site to dig up five spent fuel containers from former plutonium production operations and relocate them to a nearby interim storage area.

The project required close collaboration between the contractors and a select team of workers with special qualifications and experience needed to complete the job.

Pictured is a spent fuel container used during plutonium production operations decades ago on the Hanford Site.
Pictured is a spent fuel container used during plutonium production operations decades ago on the Hanford Site.

“Our One Hanford team continually delivers results on important work that reduces risk,” said Andy Wiborg, RL Projects and Facilities Division team lead for Hanford’s Central Plateau Cleanup Project. “Making efficient use of time and resources, the contractor teams remediated potential hazards from the national defense era while advancing the cleanup mission.”

CPCCo engineers kicked off the project in summer 2022 by ensuring environmental compliance and proper permitting. Field teams from both contractors developed training programs and mock-ups of the location where the spent fuel canisters were buried. This allowed the teams to rehearse the work prior to beginning actual retrieval and transfer.

Workers packaged spent fuel containers before moving them to a nearby safe storage area on the Hanford Site.
Workers packaged spent fuel containers before moving them to a nearby safe storage area on the Hanford Site.

The HMIS team dug up each container from the burial site. Once the containers were ready for removal, crane operators and ironworkers lifted and transported them to a safe storage area on the Hanford Site.

“Completing difficult tasks is our specialty,” said CPCCo President John Eschenberg. “This effort allowed us to showcase our skills, safe work practices and commitment to delivering a mission-critical activity.”

“This project demonstrates the strength and expertise of our One Hanford team to complete a sensitive assignment safely and successfully,” said HMIS President Bob Wilkinson. “The training and experience of our teams allowed us to complete the work seamlessly.”