Office of Environmental Management

WTP Pretreatment Facility Vessel Testing Wraps Up

October 10, 2017

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Employees from the Office of River Protection, Bechtel National, AECOM, and Atkins Engineering recently celebrated the completion test operations for the final phase of full-scale testing of pulse jet mixed vessels and control systems.
Employees from the Office of River Protection, Bechtel National, AECOM, and Atkins Engineering recently celebrated the completion test operations for the final phase of full-scale testing of pulse jet mixed vessels and control systems.

RICHLAND, Wash. – The final phase of full-scale testing has wrapped up for the pulse jet mixer (PJM) vessels and control systems intended for use in the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant’s Pretreatment Facility. 

   The PJM vessels and control systems are designed to safely mix radioactive tank waste as it moves through the Pretreatment Facility. The results of the recently completed testing will be used to inform the final design of the vessels intended to be used at the facility.   

   “Addressing the technical questions surrounding PJMs is an important accomplishment on the Pretreatment Facility,” said Bill Hamel, assistant manager for the WTP Project at EM’s Office of River Protection (ORP). “The collaboration among DOE and contractors over the four years of testing should be a model for how we do business.”

   The test campaigns began in 2014 to study the PJMs and their control systems on half-scale and then prototypic full‐scale test vessels. Testing used non-radioactive materials that simulate and bound the range of expected waste stream conditions.  

   The final test campaign used a full-scale prototype of the standard high solids vessel (SHSV) and was completed in two phases. The first phase focused on PJM controls and demonstrated the ability to control the PJMs over the range of waste compositions anticipated. The second phase tested the vessel mixing performance and used tests based on established mixing requirements to produce the data required to support verification of the SHSV design. The SHSV prototype used in testing is integral to an alternative strategy for the Pretreatment Facility to demonstrate a plan to meet DOE’s nuclear quality and safety and performance requirements. 

   Peggy McCullough, Bechtel National project director for WTP, complimented the test completion team from Bechtel, AECOM, and Atkins Engineering for its strong execution.

   “We have produced a result our customer can rely upon and move forward with confidence in the nuclear quality and safety of the Pretreatment Facility,” she said. 

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