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Latest 200 Area Demolition Offers Snapshot of Hanford Cleanup Progress: Recovery Act Funding Allows Demolition of Power Houses Ahead of Schedule

March 4, 2011 - 12:00pm


RICHLAND, WASH. – Today’s safe and successful explosive demolition at Hanford’s 200 Area by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) is the latest reminder of progress being made on cleanup as a result of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments.

“Recovery Act funds allowed us to accelerate the schedule for removing the power houses,” said Al Farabee, DOE’s Federal Project Director for the 200 Area.

Crews demolished two 250-foot tall exhaust chimneys, three 90-foot tall filtration structures, and a coal silo that once served the 284-East Power House near the center of Hanford in southeast Washington state. Also demolished was the nearby 2902-East Water Tower, whose painted “Work Safely” sign has greeted workers in the area since the 1950s.

The 284-East demolitions will mirror a February 18 explosive demolition of the support structures at the 284-West Power House. The work clears the way for traditional demolition of the two power houses themselves.

At 284-West, asbestos removal inside the building has already begun in the wake of the February demolitions, and at 284-East, where the asbestos has already been removed, structural demolition of the building itself can now begin. The demolition projects were performed with $1.6 million in Recovery Act funding.

“These explosive demolitions draw a lot of attention because of their spectacular nature,” said
CH2M HILL Decommissioning and Demolition Deputy Project Manager Mike Swartz, “but for
us it’s simply a safe and efficient method of getting these support structures out of the way.”

The two Power Houses, which burned coal to provide power and heat for the plutonium processing
plants in Hanford’s 200 Area, have been idle since the mid-90s. They were added to
CH2M HILL’s work at Hanford with the arrival of Recovery Act funds in April 2009, part of a
$24 million scope of work to demolish obsolete industrial structures in the area and reduce
mortgage, surveillance and maintenance costs. Since then, more than a dozen structures totaling
more than 45,000 square feet, with the two 53,000-square-foot Power Houses the last two
industrial projects on the list. CH2M HILL is on schedule to demolish and remove both buildings
by the end of the fiscal year.

Note: CH2M HILL is documenting the demolitions on behalf of DOE and providing video
footage and still photographs to external media outlets. To access visual media, link to: