RICHLAND, Wash. – EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) recently resumed key risk-reduction activities to prepare to remove contaminated soil under Hanford’s 324 Building.
The building supported research on highly radioactive materials during operations from 1966 to 1996. Removing the contaminated soil is a priority in Hanford’s risk-reduction mission and will allow for safe demolition of the facility.
“As Hanford continues to advance these and other elements of its risk-reduction mission, the safety of the workforce will continue to be paramount,” said Mark French, RL federal project director. “Lower-hazard work has gone safely and smoothly, and workers are preparing to resume drilling foundation supports under a shielded containment area in the building where we’ll excavate the soil through the floor.”
The prep work marks the first significant progress-focused tasks since the project was paused in November 2019 after a series of low-level contamination occurrences inside the facility. A key component of the enhanced safety protocols is improved processes for putting on and removing personal protective equipment that safeguards workers from contamination.
Workers have trained on the new process at a mock-up of the 324 Building over the past several months. The mock-up helps employees train safely and test equipment and procedures before performing work in a radiological environment.
“The 324 team has done a great job of working together to develop, test, and implement improved processes to ensure the work can be done safely,” said Rob Cantwell, director of CPCCo’s Outer Area End States project. “We have a highly skilled team continuously working together to ensure this important and hazardous work moves forward safely to completion.”
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