IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The Idaho site’s main cleanup contractor recently achieved a major performance milestone by successfully passing an operational readiness review for a first-of-a-kind facility that will treat the remaining 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste generated by the site’s legacy cleanup mission.
CH2M-WG Idaho’s (CWI) Contractor Operational Readiness Review for the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU) focused on plant equipment and systems, management competency, personnel operational proficiency, procedures and emergency response to validate operational preparedness.
The 16-member team that completed the review identified nine pre-start findings and noted several strengths, notably that key elements of a good safety culture were evident. There were no hardware issues identified in the entire plant — a monumental achievement considering the size and complexity of the facility.
“We are a step closer to achieving our cleanup milestones and meeting our environmental commitments to the State of Idaho,” said Jim Cooper, DOE Deputy Manager for the Idaho Cleanup Project. “The IWTU project team had to overcome numerous hurdles in achieving this major interim milestone and I am very pleased with the IWTU team and the results of this review.”
The findings were primarily related to the paper side of the review such as the strengthening of some procedure points, ensuring clarity for operators, and expanded depth of documentation in certain areas.
The team was comprised of technical experts from CWI parent companies CH2M-HILL and URS, as well as observers from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security, and the DOE Subject Matter Experts.