LOS ANGELES – The Savannah River Site (SRS) management and operations contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), received the Project Management Institute (PMI) Award for Project Excellence at the PMI Professional Awards Gala on Oct. 6 for its work cleaning up a coal ash basin.
The prestigious award recognizes global, large, and complex projects with superior project management practices and organizational results, and positive impacts on society.
SRNS was recognized for completing the first of two phases of work at the SRS D-Area Ash Basins ahead of schedule and significantly under budget. SRNS expects to complete the project with cost avoidances totaling $8.7 million.
DOE-Savannah River and SRNS are cleaning up the basins used to manage ashes from the D-Area Powerhouse, which provided steam and electricity for SRS missions for more than 59 years. The project aims to protect human health and the environment and prevent ash migration to the Savannah River.
“When the D Area Powerhouse closed in 2012, the cleanup of the ash basins was projected for closure. SRNS supported federal regulators to define a cleanup plan that was respectful of federal tax dollars and given a reasonable timeframe for completion, while also achieving cleanup goals and adherence to regulatory compliance,” said Stuart MacVean, SRNS president and CEO.
DOE-Savannah River and SRNS implemented a $70 million five-year phased approach for the project.
In the first phase, workers consolidated 131,000 cubic yards of ash and dirt from a 15-acre basin into an adjacent ash landfill. They covered the landfill with a clay liner and fill dirt that serves as a drainage layer — more than 926,000 square feet over an estimated 21-acre area — to protect the landfill from rainwater and prevent ash from migrating into the environment.
“Utilizing the cleanup approach agreed upon by SRS regulators and DOE, SRNS was able to capitalize on its exemplary project management expertise to complete the first phase of the D-Area Ash Basin Project at a cost savings of $300,000 while accelerating the completion date by more than one year,” MacVean said.
In the project’s second phase, ash and soil from three additional D-Area basins were consolidated into an adjacent landfill. The landfill was then covered with a geosynthetic cover. Final closure of the second phase of the D-Area Ash Basin Project is expected later this month.