RICHLAND, Wash. – EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) has awarded two construction subcontracts worth about $9.5 million to Richland-based DGR Grant Construction Inc. to progress critical risk-reduction work along the Columbia River at the Hanford Site.
DGR Grant is tasked with constructing a safe-storage enclosure over the K East Reactor to place the reactor into interim safe storage, including preparing the foundation and installing supporting infrastructure. The enclosure will protect the reactor building while the radioactivity in the reactor core decays over the next several decades, making it easier and safer to complete disposition of the reactor in the future.
“Awarding this contract is a major step toward the completion of work in Hanford’s K Reactor Area,” said Bob Krebs, CPCCo project manager for the safe-storage enclosure. “We look forward to working with the Department of Energy and our cleanup partners to safely execute this critical risk-reduction project.”
Groundbreaking on the foundation for the storage enclosure is scheduled to begin in September. Construction of the steel structure is slated for early 2022 with completion expected in 2023.
“Work on placing the K East Reactor in interim safe storage progresses our mission to protect the public and the Columbia River,” said Mark French, RL project and facilities division director.
The K East Reactor operated from 1955 to 1971 and will be the seventh of Hanford’s nine former reactors to be placed in interim safe storage. The K West Reactor will be the eighth. The ninth, the B Reactor, has been preserved as the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor and is part of the National Park Service’s Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
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