RICHLAND, Wash. – A team from EM’s Office of River Protection (ORP) and tank farms contractor Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) recently finished removing another highly contaminated pump from a Hanford double-shell tank.
Taking out the pump from tank AW-103 paved the way for installing a new 39-foot vertical turbine pump and jumper. The new pump will support future waste retrievals and evaporator campaigns. The old pump will be shipped to Hanford’s onsite Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility for permanent disposal.
The successful removal of the failed pump from AW-103 was the fourth such project since June 2017, following the deployment of innovative tools designed to reduce radiological and industrial hazards for workers. The AW-103 work benefited from lessons learned from the other three projects.
“I think this pull was the smoothest of them all,” said Art Chacon, a WRPS nuclear chemical operator. “Most of the crew worked together on the previous pump replacement projects, and the experience showed.”
Some tools used for the AW-103 project were a remotely installed spray ring system to clean the external surface of the pumps during removal; an encapsulation device that spools foam insulation around the pump column as it is raised from the pit, eliminating the need for workers to make contact with the pump; and aluminum top hat covers to provide additional shielding.
“Removing contaminated, long-length equipment from a tank is challenging work,” said Jeremy Johnson, ORP deputy federal project director. “The development of these innovative tools continues to be key to the safe and efficient completion of these pump replacement projects.”