In this July 2019 photo, Janice Lawson, deputy vice president of EM operations for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, speaks to the Savannah River Site NRU/NRX Removal.
In this July 2019 photo, Janice Lawson, deputy vice president of EM operations for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, speaks to the Savannah River Site NRU/NRX Removal.

More than 100 Savannah River Site (SRS) federal and contractor employees, many of whom work in EM facilities, have been honored with Secretary of Energy Achievement Awards for accomplishments in 2019 in support of the Department’s mission and the benefit of the nation.

“We are proud to announce that SRS employees are recognized as contributors to Achievement Award-winning teams,” SRS Manager Mike Budney said. “These exceptional employees deserve both our congratulations and our thanks.”

The awards represent some of the highest internal, non-monetary recognitions that DOE employees and contractors can receive.

Teams honored with Achievement Awards included EM employees from SRS:

National Research Universal (NRU) and National Research Experimental (NRX) Highly Enriched Uranium Removal Team

A National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nonproliferation mission, the NRU/NRX highly enriched uranium campaign represented the largest removal of spent nuclear fuel from other nations to the U.S. EM workers supported the receipt and safe storage of the material in the L Area Disassembly Basin at SRS. Spent nuclear fuel is received and stored safely underwater in the basin.

The L Area Disassembly Basin began receiving highly enriched uranium from Chalk River Laboratories in Canada starting in 2015. The effort involved 56 truck shipments from Canada covering more than 66,000 miles. The campaign was completed 12 months ahead of schedule.

“This campaign involved receiving a different type of fuel that was longer and heavier than what the current system was set up for,” said Neil McIntosh, L Area deputy facility manager for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the management and operations contractor at SRS. “A lot of preparation and modifications to the facility had to be performed before we could start receipt.”

Employees completed other activities to prepare for receipt of the spent nuclear fuel, including developing new procedures, training operators in a mock-up facility, and performing a readiness assessment.

“I thank the employees of L Basin for helping to make this campaign a success,” NNSA U.S. Nuclear Material Removal Program Manager Jeff Galan said. “Their commitment to doing the work to ensure safe and timely receipts was essential to the program.”

The Seattle Response and Recovery and Cs-137 Joint Investigation Teams

Fourteen EM employees at SRS were part of a large team recognized for the successful emergency response, recovery, stabilization, and investigation of a breached radioactive source at the University of Washington’s Research and Training Building.

EM employees involved in this work included members of the Radiological Assistance Program, employees skilled in the construction of radiological containment structures, and a technical consultant from EM’s Savannah River National Laboratory.

“Each of the employees recognized plays an invaluable role in helping to make the world safer,” Budney said. “The recognition of these teams affirms our commitment to the safety and security of our nation.”