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Much Accomplished at Hanford in 2010: Richland Operations Office Prime Contractors Cite Past Year's Cleanup Progress

January 5, 2011 - 12:00pm


RICHLAND, WASH. – The Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office contractors achieved a great deal of cleanup progress at the Hanford Site in 2010. Below are just some of the major accomplishments of our River Corridor, Central Plateau, and Mission Support contractors:

River Corridor

To date, approximately half of the cleanup in the Hanford Site’s 220-square-mile River Corridor is complete. The River Corridor cleanup project is DOE’s largest environmental cleanup closure project in the complex, with a goal of cleaning up the River Corridor by 2015.  Hanford’s River Corridor contractor, Washington Closure Hanford:

  • Achieved 2.7 million safe work hours in 2010.
  • Earned DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program Star of Excellence.
  • *Drove more than 6 million miles hauling waste to and from Hanford’s onsite landfill, the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, with zero at-fault accidents.
  • *Transported and disposed of 5 million tons of hazardous waste, taking a record number of truckloads per day away from the Columbia River to the lined disposal facility.
  • *Decontaminated, demolished, and loaded out debris on 142 buildings and remediated 149 waste sites and burial grounds in 2010.
  • Completed radiological surveys for 30 miles of abandoned railroad track along the River Corridor.
  • Oversaw the safe explosive demolition of two buildings and an exhaust stack at Hanford’s 300 Area.
  • *Completed 28 of 28 regulatory milestones in 2010 and completed 6,500 contractual actions totaling $225 million. In addition, $202 million gained through efficiency was reinvested back into the project.

Note: * Cumulative since the start of the River Corridor Closure Contract in 2005.

Central Plateau

RL’s prime contractor on the Central Plateau, CH2MHILL Plateau Remediation Company, has been busy on the Hanford Site with Recovery Act funding demolishing excess facilities, improving groundwater treatment, removing legacy wastes, and reducing the Hanford Site’s active cleanup footprint. Hanford’s Central Plateau contractor, CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company:

  • Completed a record-setting year in well drilling, with more than 280 wells in place to help extract, treat and characterize contaminated groundwater.
  • Treated 600 million gallons of groundwater fiscal year 2010.
  • Continued removing legacy waste and fuels from Hanford, repackaging 490 cubic meters of contact-handled transuranic (TRU) waste to support TRU shipments and shipping 700 cubic meters of mixed/low-level waste to help reduce the inventory at Hanford’s Central Waste Complex; Waste, Receiving and Process Facility; and T Plant.
  • Completed cleanup along the outermost edges of the Hanford Site in an effort to reduce the cleanup footprint by approximately 49 percent – or approximately 290 square miles – later in 2011.
  • Marked the first reduction in the Hanford Site cleanup footprint – a total of 115 square miles, with the removal of 24 facilities and 362 debris sites on the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve and Rattlesnake Mountain.
  • Removed security barriers and downgraded site security at the Plutonium Finishing Plant with the removal of the last special nuclear materials from the facility in November 2009. The company removed a thousand feet of extensive security infrastructure – including jersey barriers, ecology blocks and thousands of tons of fill material in less than one year. In addition, 15 interim storage vaults for fuel have been removed two years ahead of schedule, and five access control buildings were demolished.
  • Completed construction and began operating the 100-DX pump and treat system, adding an additional 20 million gallons per month of groundwater treatment capacity.
  • Progress on the 100-HX pump and treat system continues along the Columbia River, which will expand and enhance groundwater treatment at the Hanford Site. Since July 2010, the facility is nearly enclosed and on target to be operational in 2011.
  • Retrieved about 3.5 cubic meters of sludge from settler tubes at K West Basin in 2010. The settler tube sludge was generated during the used nuclear fuel washing performed from 2000-2004.


Mission Support

The prime contractor for the Mission Support Contract provides a wide range of infrastructure, security, health and safety, and facility management services and also provides RL a key leadership role by leading site-wide initiatives and integrating infrastructure services. In 2010, the Mission Support Alliance:

  • Identified over $20 million in cost savings during the first year while experiencing a 25 percent increase in service requests due to Recovery Act funding.
  • Reduced MSA CO2 emissions on the site by 36 percent using Ethanol 85 alternative fuel.
  • Invested over $4 million of corporate funds on key Hanford initiatives.
  • Increased WiFi coverage from 41 to 359 square miles providing network and voice services in remote areas and saving over $800,000 for Hanford cleanup contractors.
  • Developed the Portfolio Analysis Center of Excellence that serves as a state-of-the-art, modern, fully digital, decision support center for DOE, Hanford contractors and regulators to enable project planning and issue resolution in real-time using visualization tools. This first-of-its-kind facility and technology will play a vital role in finalizing the Hanford Life Cycle Report for FY11-FY90 due to regulators in 2011.
  • Developed 14 new standardized Site-wide Safety Standards to enhance worker safety through development and implementation of processes and training for commonly encountered hazards at Hanford.
  • Provided a 55 percent increase in processing chemical analyses at the Waste Sampling and Characterization Facility.
  • Stood up a commercial service delivery model that features an automated, online service catalog integrated into a single call center, or Mission Service Desk.
  • Conducted over 63,000 student days of training at HAMMER, representing a 26 percent increase in training from FY09, and 49 percent growth from FY08 with a minimal increase in operating costs due to efficiencies.
  • Responded to 32 Hanford Site wildfires, twice the usual number of wildfires due to increased lightning strikes. This was accomplished with no significant safety incidents, facility damage and losing only one-tenth the average acreage―or a total of 1,589 acres.
  • Constructed a new Interim Storage Area—the first new protected area in 30 years on the Hanford Site—that helped Hanford’s Central Plateau contractor accelerate cleanup of the Plutonium Finishing Plant and will provide DOE with savings over the long haul. The new ISA also allows MSA to apply a graded approach to cost savings in Safeguards and Security in coordination with all security posture requirements for the federal government.
  • Processed over 3,000 new employees due to Recovery Act funding activities, training between 100-150 new hires each month in FY10 all while reducing student injuries by 60 percent over previous year.