Procedures enhanced for Savannah River waste facility

August 25, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Solid Waste Management Facility at the Savannah River Site. (Photo: DOE)

The Solid Waste Management Facility (SWMF) at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site recently was subject to an enhancement program designed to improve procedure format and quality. The program has led to a greater efficiency and a streamlined procedure review process at the facility, according to the DOE’s managing and operating contractor at SRS.

“In 2015, SWMF recognized several inadequacies in the performance of procedure reviews,” said Verne Mooneyhan, SWMF facility manager for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the managing and operating contractor. “We designed the procedure enhancement program to address these inadequacies and ensure we had a clear set of steps to follow from this point forward.”

The review: SWMF reviewed 140 procedures to ensure that they reflected current missions and were written to minimize and reduce potential errors. The review included deactivating 32 percent of the procedures no longer supported by missions; combining similar procedures; and eliminating unnecessary steps without impacting safety precautions.

“We utilized small group session to help identify additional procedural shortcomings for inconsistencies, wording, and sequence flow,” said Renee Hoeffner, SRNS SWMF deputy operations manager.

The process: Hoeffner explained that the same process was followed for each procedure that was reviewed. To ensure consistency, a checklist was developed for use in drafting revisions through a team meeting format. The proposed revisions were then sent to designated review team members consisting of subject matter experts. The final approved product was then routed to a procedure writer and on to management for official review and implementation.

To ensure that the procedure enhancement program provided a baseline for the process, SWMF implemented training for personnel that included expectations for procedure development, review, and validation; procedural requirements; and the impact of human factors in procedure development, review, and validation.

The site: The Solid Waste Management Department at SRS disposes of the site’s solid wastes, which include sanitary, construction and demolition, hazardous, low-level radioactive, and transuranic wastes.

SRS is in South Carolina and encompasses parts of Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties and is bordered on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

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