Hanford tank farm project singled out for excellence

RICHLAND -- A Hanford tank farm project to prepare to transfer high-level radioactive waste to the vitrification plant has been recognized with the Excellence in Hazardous Materials Management Award.

It was presented by the Eastern Washington Chapter of the Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers.

Washington River Protection Solutions replaced the SY transfer lines, a project that required great care to minimize exposure of workers to high radiation levels, according to the award announcement.

Old contaminated lines were cut, cleaned of radioactive waste with a water lance, removed, then cemented for radiation protection and disposal. The regulator on the project, the state Department of Ecology, nominated Washington River Protection Solutions for the award.

Other awards included:

* Michelle Hendrickson, an engineer with the Department of Ecology, was named the Hazardous Materials Manager of the Year.

She supplies technical and engineering support for many Hanford projects and represents Washington state to ensure safety and regulatory compliance for new projects and operations, according to the award announcement.

* CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., working with Commodore Advance Sciences and Impact Services, won the Department of Energy Office of River Protection Manager's Award for Exemplary Service.

The project identified a method to remove radio-active sodium metal from scrap metal coming out of sodium-cooled nuclear reactors. The approach may have applications at other sites in the U.S. and abroad with sodium-cooled nuclear reactors.

* CH2M Hill, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and DOE's Richland Operations Office received the Hazardous Materials Identification and Control Research Award.

They demonstrated that gases could be used deep underground to dry up water that could carry pollutants deeper to the ground water.

* Roni Swan of East Tennessee Material and Energy Corp. received the chapter's Meritorious Achievements Award and Chuck Mulkey of Washington River Protection Solutions received the chapter's Outstanding Service Award.