Demolition of the Vitrification Facility, a 10,700 square foot reinforced concrete structure, was completed safely in 2019 after completing waste disposition. Extensive planning and preparation were performed to prepare the facility for demolition. Photo submitted
WEST VALLEY — CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV) celebrates 10 years of safe and compliant cleanup activities at the West Valley Demonstration Project.
Since August 2011, CHBWV, the Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor, has continued to accelerate cleanup, eliminate potential environmental hazards and reduce the footprint and life-cycle costs at the site.
“The work performed over the last 10 years has changed the landscape of the site forever and is an important accomplishment in the progress to decommission the site,” said Bryan Bower, WVDP DOE director. “This effort shows that robust engineering controls coupled with state-of-the-science monitoring can accomplish the safe removal of nuclear facilities.”
Under their contract, CHBWV has completed the following major accomplishments:
• Packaged and shipped the vitrification melter (160 tons) and two large feed tanks (180 tons and 150 tons) off-site for safe disposal.
• Relocation of 278 high-level waste canisters to an onsite storage pad (first time in U.S. history, vitrified high-level waste (HLW) — liquid waste converted into a glass substance — was placed into long-term, outdoor passive storage).
• Completed the disposition of more than 180,000 cubic feet of low-level legacy waste produced from past cleanup activities.
• Demolition of the 01-14 Cement Solidification Facility and Vitrification Facility.
• Demolition of six ancillary support structures, including Manipulator Repair Shop, Contact Size-Reduction Facility, Laundry Facility, Utility Room building, Utility Room Extension building and Main Plant Office Building.
• Removed 110 feet of the Main Plant Process Building’s ventilation stack, weighing more than 20,000 pounds.
• Demolition and area restoration of 46 balance of site facilities that were no longer needed for current or future cleanup activities, including Administrative Office Building, Liquid Pretreatment System building and Chemical Process Cell-Waste Storage Area building
“These accomplishments demonstrate the importance
of putting safety first, solid communication, teamwork and best practices,” said John Rendall, CHBWV President. “The CHBWV Team was deliberate in the planning and execution of this work, which resulted in the safe and compliant completion of challenging and high-risk cleanup activities. This is a proud moment for our team and the work they continue to do at the WVDP.”
Throughout all of this work, employee safety and protection of the environment remain the top priority. Workers continue to use extensive measures to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination and safety professionals provide continuous monitoring and sampling during cleanup activities.
This work at the site has been accomplished while working among heavy construction equipment; in areas with radiological, industrial and hazardous materials; and in changing weather conditions.