Work is ready to begin to remove two research reactors from the Hanford 300 Area just north of Richland.
A $19 million subcontract has been awarded by Washington River Protection Solutions to Phoenix Enterprises NW of Richland to remove the reactors and a vault with two tanks used for hazardous liquid research wastes.
"This contract covers the last of the nastiest facilities in the 300 Area," said Tom Kisenwether, Washington Closure subcontract manager for the area, in a statement.
With the exception of the 324 Building, which had a leak of highly radioactive waste, the Phoenix work will complete the remaining higher risk decommissioning and demolition work in the 300 Area, he said.
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Phoenix will remove the TRIGA Reactor in the 308-A Building, a test reactor operated in the 1960s and '70s as part of the fuels and materials research program for Hanford's Fast Flux Test Facility. The reactor will weigh about 250 tons when it is packaged for transport to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF) in central Hanford.
The second reactor Phoenix will remove is the Plutonium Recycle Test Reactor, which weighs about 350 tons. It sat under the iconic white dome just north of Richland until the 80-foot tall containment dome was lifted off in January.
The 100-megawatt reactor was operated from 1960-69 to support the development of fuels for the commercial nuclear power industry. It was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of various plutonium oxides containing blends of plutonium, uranium and other metals.
A gantry crane will be used to lift the test reactor. It will be placed in a container and filled with grout, with the transport weight estimated at about 800 tons. It also will go to ERDF.
But the heaviest item Phoenix will transport is the vault with two tanks at the 340 Building, which were used for temporary storage of highly radioactive liquid waste before it was shipped to the waste tank farms in central Hanford. The tanks have been emptied and filled with grout.
The vault will have more grout added for a total weight of about 1,700 tons and will be hauled to ERDF on a trailer designed for heavy loads.
The contract also includes digging up more than 22,000 tons of contaminated soil near the 340 Building and removing 12,626 tons of contaminated material at waste sites near two previously demolished buildings, the 321 and 3706 buildings.
Five teams bid on the work, and all were technically qualified, but Phoenix submitted the low bid, according to Washington Closure. Its team included several businesses with two from the Tri-Cities, Meier Enterprises of Kennewick and MetalFab Inc. of West Richland.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org; more Hanford news at hanfordnews.com