AIKEN, S.C. – Employees of the H Canyon at the Savannah River Site recently improved planning for steam outages at the chemical processing facility by hiring staff members dedicated to preparing for those periods full time.
“In the past, we relied on the existing work control team to also plan for outages,” H Area Maintenance Manager James Rosema said. “Having a dedicated work control staff to just focus on preparing for outages has left our team better prepared.”
Steam is used in H Canyon and its associated facilities to provide heat for chemical processing activities and transferring radioactive materials between tanks. It is also used to provide heat for the control room and offices in the facility.
H Canyon undergoes two steam outages a year to repair steam pressure header systems. Outages generally last about two weeks but can last longer if needed.
H Canyon employees take advantage of steam outages to perform required inspections to ensure the structural integrity of remote parts of the facility associated with the air exhaust system.
Planning for outages begins approximately six months in advance because they entail a large amount of work in a short period.
“That means that as soon as we are done with one outage, planning needs to begin for the next, said Rosema. “With a dedicated work control staff, we are able to do that more efficiently and effectively.”
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
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U.S. Department of Energy
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