U.S. Department of Energy - Hanford Site
Intermech fabricated and installed new technology and infrastructure to support the clean-up efforts in the 200 East and 200 West Tank Farms at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site. The work is being managed from the Intermech Richland Operations facility in Richland, WA., which has a long and successful history of performing critical fabrications and demanding site construction projects for the DOE Hanford Site.
With much of the original liquid waste safely transferred from the original carbon steel shell tanks, work is now focused on transferring the remaining solid and semi-solid wastes into the newer, safer, more reliable double shell tanks. This stage of the cleanup is challenging because the original pumps inside the tanks were designed to remove only liquid and not the remaining solid and semi-solid wastes. Intermech is fabricating and installing custom-designed components to meet the challenges posed by the waste composition and the design of the original tanks.
The ultimate objective, as determined by the regulatory agreement known as the Tri- Party Agreement, is for crews to remove at least 99% of the material in every tank or as much waste as can be removed with the current, available technology.
Under its NQA-1 program, Intermech has fabricated, removed, and installed components inside the tank farms, including pumps, jumpers, MARS, sluicers, drain seal assemblies, transfer pipelines, thermocouple trees, exhauster platforms, and vapor exhaust systems. The work is ongoing under multiple contract releases for the various high-level underground waste storage tanks.
This project poses several risks and challenges, including the potential of radioactive discharge, needing to meet ALARA standards for radiation exposure during installation per 10CFR19, and requiring mock-up testing and training of workers for installation of the fabricated components.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) mission is to “ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.” Established in 1977, the DOE has pursued energy development and regulation and currently works to address energy and environmental challenges through science and technology solutions.