Hanford tests vitrification bubblers

August 30, 2022, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
A worker watches test bubblers in operation at the Hanford Site. (Photo: DOE)

Crews at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in Washington state recently finished testing “bubblers” at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. Bubblers are used to transform radiological and chemical tank waste into a glass form for safe disposal.

Hanford’s “sting” operation safely relocates native bees

July 27, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Native bees swarm near a hive at the former K Reactor Area on the Hanford Site. Bees swarm and begin looking for a new place to nest when a colony becomes overcrowded. (Photo: DOE)

The area near the Hanford Site’s former K reactors is buzzing with activity as several of the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup projects continue near the Columbia River in Washington state.

That’s not the only thing that’s buzzing, however. While preparing some old equipment for removal earlier this spring, workers with Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo), a contractor of the DOE Office of Environmental Management Richland Operations Office, discovered a large colony of native bees.

Machine learning and environmental remediation

January 28, 2022, 9:29AMANS Nuclear CafeAndrew Amann

Due to the large amount of water used by nuclear power plants, measuring the water’s impact on the environment is a huge data processing task. It is impossible to manually measure millions of gallons, along with tracking wildlife and the weather. The data computation needed to understand environmental patterns takes massive amounts of storage and strong algorithms to uncover anomalies.

Hanford completes cleanup at Plutonium Finishing Plant

January 12, 2022, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Click to see full image. (Photo: DOE)

Department of Energy contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company recently completed final demolition activities at the Hanford Site’s former Plutonium Finishing Plant, which was once one of the most hazardous facilities in the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) cleanup complex.

Check out this time-lapse video of the plant’s demolition from October 2016 through November 2021.

Hanford crews become qualified as VIT plant operators

December 13, 2021, 6:59AMRadwaste Solutions
Nicholas Callihan, left, and Julissa Quinonez Chavez, front, complete training to become qualified as control room supervisor and utilities operator for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. (Photo: DOE)

Hanford completes wastewater basin work to support tank waste treatment

October 26, 2021, 3:01PMRadwaste Solutions
An aerial view of Hanford’s Liquid Effluent Retention Facility Basin 44 with its new cover installed. (Photo: DOE)

Record-breaking heat and the vast size of the job did not stop the Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection and its tank operations contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), from completing a construction project critical to the Hanford Site’s Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste program for treating radioactive tank waste.

DOE official opens WM Symposia with 2021 EM priorities

March 9, 2021, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions

William “Ike” White, the DOE's acting assistant secretary for Environmental Management. Source: DOE

William “Ike” White, the Department of Energy’s acting assistant secretary for environmental management, helped open the 2021 Waste Management Symposia by announcing a new era for the department’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) and its cleanup mission. Speaking via live stream during the virtual meeting’s plenary session on March 8, White said, “Today, EM is at the start of a new era, with a new administration and a new set of priorities for the year, and, hopefully, the start of a new post-pandemic world.”

The new priorities that White touted are contained in EM’s Calendar Year 2021 Mission and Priorities, which outlines specific planned goals across the cleanup complex for the coming year. According to the DOE, the calendar serves as a marker for EM’s continuing success in addressing the legacy of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

Crews make progress on Hanford tank farm improvements

September 3, 2020, 12:07PMAround the Web

Crews work on Hanford's tank farm improvements. Photo: DOE

Work crews at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site recently completed removal and staging of 52 large concrete covers used to shield hoses for transferring radioactive waste between waste tanks in Hanford’s AY and AP farms. (Tank farms are groups of tanks.) The covers, known as “barns,” are being staged as part of an infrastructure improvement project until they can be used in the building of a hose system that will transfer waste from Hanford's A farm to the AP farm.