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Title: Project Management - The People Make the Difference

Abstract

CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. manages the high level nuclear waste tanks for the Department of Energy's Office of River Protection, at the Hanford site in southeastern Washington State. The Hanford tanks contain more than 53 million gallons of waste, 200 million curies (three times that released by Chernobyl), and 67 of the 177 tanks have leaked at some time in the past. The current company has been responsible for the tanks since fall 1996. Previous to 1996, there is a long history of the Hanford tank farms being the bane of DOE Environmental Management. One tank would periodically and spontaneously release large quantities of flammable gas. Another tank, which does not have double containment as now required by law, self-boiled and required the addition of more than 5,000 gallons of water per month to maintain temperatures within the design parameters of the tank. Only a single-wall steel pipe with limited leak detection was available to transfer waste the 7-mile route from the western-most tank farms to a waste evaporator. The regulators, public, and congress had little confidence that DOE or its contractors knew the chemical, physical, or nuclear characteristics of the tanks contents. The nuclear safety controls were somore » complex and varied for different tanks and different operations, that very few employees understood the hazards and the control requirements. In fact, in 1993, congress found it necessary to pass a law restricting the operations of 54 of the 177 tanks due to safety concerns--these tanks are known as ''watch list'' tanks. This was a bleak picture--DOE's most hazardous nuclear waste storage site--and no one really knew what was in the tanks and control measures were akin to bandaids and bailing wire. This is not the condition today. No tanks spontaneously belch gas above the flammability limit of hydrogen. All tanks have consistent flammable gas controls that are understood by the tank farm workers. A new doubly contained transfer line, with redundant leak detection systems, routinely transports waste across the 7 miles from the west to east tanks. The high-heat tank has been emptied. A new ventilation system services the doubly contained tanks with the highest heat content. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a presidential appointed group that oversees DOE nuclear safety, has declared that the tank contents are sufficiently characterized. The systems and a plan are in place to remove residual pumpable liquids from the non-compliant single-shell tanks by 2004. More than half of the tanks have been removed from the ''watch list'' and the rest will be removed within the next year. And, a comprehensive plan exists to retrieve the waste, send it to a treatment plant, and close the tank farms.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
LMHC (US); Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
804930
Report Number(s):
CHG-7590, Rev.0
TRN: US0205607
DOE Contract Number:
AC27-99RL14047
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 15 Jan 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; DETECTION; MANAGEMENT; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; PERSONNEL; PROGRAM MANAGEMENT; RADIATION PROTECTION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SAFETY; STORAGE FACILITIES; VENTILATION SYSTEMS

Citation Formats

DELOZIER, M.P.. Project Management - The People Make the Difference. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/804930.
DELOZIER, M.P.. Project Management - The People Make the Difference. United States. doi:10.2172/804930.
DELOZIER, M.P.. Mon . "Project Management - The People Make the Difference". United States. doi:10.2172/804930. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/804930.
@article{osti_804930,
title = {Project Management - The People Make the Difference},
author = {DELOZIER, M.P.},
abstractNote = {CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. manages the high level nuclear waste tanks for the Department of Energy's Office of River Protection, at the Hanford site in southeastern Washington State. The Hanford tanks contain more than 53 million gallons of waste, 200 million curies (three times that released by Chernobyl), and 67 of the 177 tanks have leaked at some time in the past. The current company has been responsible for the tanks since fall 1996. Previous to 1996, there is a long history of the Hanford tank farms being the bane of DOE Environmental Management. One tank would periodically and spontaneously release large quantities of flammable gas. Another tank, which does not have double containment as now required by law, self-boiled and required the addition of more than 5,000 gallons of water per month to maintain temperatures within the design parameters of the tank. Only a single-wall steel pipe with limited leak detection was available to transfer waste the 7-mile route from the western-most tank farms to a waste evaporator. The regulators, public, and congress had little confidence that DOE or its contractors knew the chemical, physical, or nuclear characteristics of the tanks contents. The nuclear safety controls were so complex and varied for different tanks and different operations, that very few employees understood the hazards and the control requirements. In fact, in 1993, congress found it necessary to pass a law restricting the operations of 54 of the 177 tanks due to safety concerns--these tanks are known as ''watch list'' tanks. This was a bleak picture--DOE's most hazardous nuclear waste storage site--and no one really knew what was in the tanks and control measures were akin to bandaids and bailing wire. This is not the condition today. No tanks spontaneously belch gas above the flammability limit of hydrogen. All tanks have consistent flammable gas controls that are understood by the tank farm workers. A new doubly contained transfer line, with redundant leak detection systems, routinely transports waste across the 7 miles from the west to east tanks. The high-heat tank has been emptied. A new ventilation system services the doubly contained tanks with the highest heat content. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a presidential appointed group that oversees DOE nuclear safety, has declared that the tank contents are sufficiently characterized. The systems and a plan are in place to remove residual pumpable liquids from the non-compliant single-shell tanks by 2004. More than half of the tanks have been removed from the ''watch list'' and the rest will be removed within the next year. And, a comprehensive plan exists to retrieve the waste, send it to a treatment plant, and close the tank farms.},
doi = {10.2172/804930},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2001},
month = {Mon Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2001}
}

Technical Report:

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