RICHLAND, Wash. – As the Hanford Site continues a phased remobilization of site operations, EM Richland Operations Office (RL) and its contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) recently began designing and constructing a full-scale off-site mock-up to support the stabilization of three underground structures with engineered grout.
The three structures, located near the former Plutonium Finishing Plant, received liquid waste during Hanford’s plutonium production operations and contain residual radioactive and chemical contamination. A 2019 report indicates the structures are at risk of age-related failure.
“We are making good progress on the mock-up for the stabilization project following appropriate health and safety protocols as we continue our phased remobilization,” said Al Farabee, RL assistant manager for the river and plateau. “This work is critical to Hanford’s mission to reduce risk to workers, the public, and the environment.”
Construction of the mock-up includes a conveyance system that will be used to move more than 4,500 cubic yards of engineered grout from trucks into the structures. The grout will be pumped through more than 1,500 feet of pipe, helping to keep workers out of high-contamination areas. Mock-ups are used extensively at Hanford to allow crews to troubleshoot processes and safely train on tools and equipment in a clean environment before work begins in the field.
“The conveyance system is going to help us tremendously because all three structures are in high radiological areas,” said Delise Savior, CHPRC project manager. “This will minimize our time in these areas while allowing us to safely and efficiently stabilize the structures. Crews will also monitor radiological conditions before and during work to further ensure our workers and the environment are protected.”
The stabilization project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
Check out this video to see more about the engineering walk-down on the project.
Grout has been used to safely stabilize other structures at Hanford, including a combined 44,000 cubic yards to stabilize two waste storage tunnels next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, or PUREX, in 2017 and 2019.