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Title: CONTAMINATED PROCESS EQUIPMENT REMOVAL FOR THE D&D OF THE 232-Z CONTAMINATED WASTE RECOVERY PROCESS FACILITY AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP)

Abstract

This paper describes the unique challenges encountered and subsequent resolutions to accomplish the deactivation and decontamination of a plutonium ash contaminated building. The 232-Z Contaminated Waste Recovery Process Facility at the Plutonium Finishing Plant was used to recover plutonium from process wastes such as rags, gloves, containers and other items by incinerating the items and dissolving the resulting ash. The incineration process resulted in a light-weight plutonium ash residue that was highly mobile in air. This light-weight ash coated the incinerator's process equipment, which included gloveboxes, blowers, filters, furnaces, ducts, and filter boxes. Significant airborne contamination (over 1 million derived air concentration hours [DAC]) was found in the scrubber cell of the facility. Over 1300 grams of plutonium held up in the process equipment and attached to the walls had to be removed, packaged and disposed. This ash had to be removed before demolition of the building could take place.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
899765
Report Number(s):
HNF-32534-FP Rev 0
TRN: US0702075
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC06-96RL13200
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 33RD ANNUAL WASTE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION (WM07) SYMPOSIA INC 02/25/2007 THRU 03/1/2007 TUCSON ARIZONA
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; SURPLUS NUCLEAR FACILITIES; HANFORD RESERVATION; DEMOLITION; EQUIPMENT; CONTAMINATION; DECONTAMINATION; PLUTONIUM; REMOVAL; RESIDUES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT

Citation Formats

HOPKINS, A.M., MINETTE, M.J., and KLOS, D.B. CONTAMINATED PROCESS EQUIPMENT REMOVAL FOR THE D&D OF THE 232-Z CONTAMINATED WASTE RECOVERY PROCESS FACILITY AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP). United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
HOPKINS, A.M., MINETTE, M.J., & KLOS, D.B. CONTAMINATED PROCESS EQUIPMENT REMOVAL FOR THE D&D OF THE 232-Z CONTAMINATED WASTE RECOVERY PROCESS FACILITY AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP). United States.
HOPKINS, A.M., MINETTE, M.J., and KLOS, D.B. Thu . "CONTAMINATED PROCESS EQUIPMENT REMOVAL FOR THE D&D OF THE 232-Z CONTAMINATED WASTE RECOVERY PROCESS FACILITY AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP)". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/899765.
@article{osti_899765,
title = {CONTAMINATED PROCESS EQUIPMENT REMOVAL FOR THE D&D OF THE 232-Z CONTAMINATED WASTE RECOVERY PROCESS FACILITY AT THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP)},
author = {HOPKINS, A.M. and MINETTE, M.J. and KLOS, D.B.},
abstractNote = {This paper describes the unique challenges encountered and subsequent resolutions to accomplish the deactivation and decontamination of a plutonium ash contaminated building. The 232-Z Contaminated Waste Recovery Process Facility at the Plutonium Finishing Plant was used to recover plutonium from process wastes such as rags, gloves, containers and other items by incinerating the items and dissolving the resulting ash. The incineration process resulted in a light-weight plutonium ash residue that was highly mobile in air. This light-weight ash coated the incinerator's process equipment, which included gloveboxes, blowers, filters, furnaces, ducts, and filter boxes. Significant airborne contamination (over 1 million derived air concentration hours [DAC]) was found in the scrubber cell of the facility. Over 1300 grams of plutonium held up in the process equipment and attached to the walls had to be removed, packaged and disposed. This ash had to be removed before demolition of the building could take place.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 25 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Jan 25 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • The 232-Z facility at Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant operated as a plutonium scrap incinerator for 11 years. Its mission was to recover residual plutonium through incinerating and/or leaching contaminated wastes and scrap material. Equipment failures, as well as spills, resulted in the release of radionuclides and other contamination to the building, along with small amounts to external soil. Based on the potential threat posed by the residual plutonium, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued an Action Memorandum to demolish Building 232-2, Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act (CERC1.A) Non-Time Critical Removal Action Memorandum for Removal of the 232-2more » Waste Recovery Process Facility at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (04-AMCP-0486).« less
  • The 241-Z treatment and storage tanks, a hazardous waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) unit permitted pursuant to the ''Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976'' (RCRA) and Washington State ''Hazardous Waste Management Act, RCW 70.105'', have been deactivated and are being actively decommissioned. The 241-Z TSD unit managed non-listed radioactive contaminated waste water, containing trace RCRA characteristic constituents. The 241-Z TSD unit consists of below grade tanks (D-4, D-5, D-7, D-8, and an overflow tank) located in a concrete containment vault, sample glovebox GB-2-241-ZA, and associated ancillary piping and equipment. The tank system is located beneath the 241-Z building.more » The 241-Z building is not a portion of the TSD unit. The sample glovebox is housed in the above-grade building. Waste managed at the TSD unit was received via underground mining from Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) sources. Tank D-6, located in the D-6 vault cell, is a past-practice tank that was taken out of service in 1972 and has never operated as a portion of the RCRA TSD unit. CERCLA actions address Tank D-6, its containment vault cell, and soil beneath the cell that was potentially contaminated during past-practice operations and any other potential past-practice contamination identified during 241-Z closure, while outside the scope of the ''Hanford Facility Dangerous Waste Closure Plant, 241-Z Treatment and Storage Tanks''.« less
  • Fluor Hanford, Inc. (FH) is proud to submit the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) 241-Z liquid Waste Treatment Facility Deactivation and Demolition (D&D) Project for consideration by the Project Management Institute as Project of the Year for 2008. The decommissioning of the 241-Z Facility presented numerous challenges, many of which were unique with in the Department of Energy (DOE) Complex. The majority of the project budget and schedule was allocated for cleaning out five below-grade tank vaults. These highly contaminated, confined spaces also presented significant industrial safety hazards that presented some of the most hazardous work environments on the Hanford Site.more » The 241-Z D&D Project encompassed diverse tasks: cleaning out and stabilizing five below-grade tank vaults (also called cells), manually size-reducing and removing over three tons of process piping from the vaults, permanently isolating service utilities, removing a large contaminated chemical supply tank, stabilizing and removing plutonium-contaminated ventilation ducts, demolishing three structures to grade, and installing an environmental barrier on the demolition site . All of this work was performed safely, on schedule, and under budget. During the deactivation phase of the project between November 2005 and February 2007, workers entered the highly contaminated confined-space tank vaults 428 times. Each entry (or 'dive') involved an average of three workers, thus equaling approximately 1,300 individual confined -space entries. Over the course of the entire deactivation and demolition period, there were no recordable injuries and only one minor reportable skin contamination. The 241-Z D&D Project was decommissioned under the provisions of the 'Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order' (the Tri-Party Agreement or TPA), the 'Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976' (RCRA), and the 'Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980' (CERCLA). The project completed TPA Milestone M-083-032 to 'Complete those activities required by the 241-Z Treatment and Storage Unit's RCRA Closure Plan' four years and seven months ahead of this legally enforceable milestone. In addition, the project completed TPA Milestone M-083-042 to 'Complete transition and dismantlement of the 241-2 Waste Treatment Facility' four years and four months ahead of schedule. The project used an innovative approach in developing the project-specific RCRA closure plan to assure clear integration between the 241-Z RCRA closure activities and ongoing and future CERCLA actions at PFP. This approach provided a regulatory mechanism within the RCRA closure plan to place segments of the closure that were not practical to address at this time into future actions under CERCLA. Lessons learned from th is approach can be applied to other closure projects within the DOE Complex to control scope creep and mitigate risk. A paper on this topic, entitled 'Integration of the 241-Z Building D and D Under CERCLA with RCRA Closure at the PFP', was presented at the 2007 Waste Management Conference in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, techniques developed by the 241-Z D&D Project to control airborne contamination, clean the interior of the waste tanks, don and doff protective equipment, size-reduce plutonium-contaminated process piping, and mitigate thermal stress for the workers can be applied to other cleanup activities. The project-management team developed a strategy utilizing early characterization, targeted cleanup, and close coordination with PFP Criticality Engineering to significantly streamline the waste- handling costs associated with the project . The project schedule was structured to support an early transition to a criticality 'incredible' status for the 241-Z Facility. The cleanup work was sequenced and coordinated with project-specific criticality analysis to allow the fissile material waste being generated to be managed in a bulk fashion, instead of individual waste packages. This approach negated the need for real-time assay of individual waste packages, greatly improving the efficiency of the cleanup operation. The cleanup and stabilization of the 241-2 Liquid Effluent Treatment Facility reduced radiological risks to the environment and Hanford site workers. It was recognized as a success by regulatory agencies, the media, the DOE-client, and stakeholders. The 241-Z D&D Project demonstrated management excellence in adapting to significant changes in project direction, fostered a safety culture that amassed impressive results on this high-hazard job, maintained excellent communications with the client and stakeholders, and developed and implemented unique cleanup techniques.« less
  • The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) was constructed as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Manhattan Project was developed to usher in the use of nuclear weapons to end the war. The primary mission of the PFP was to provide plutonium used as special nuclear material (SNM) for fabrication of nuclear devices for the war effort. Subsequent to the end of World War II, the PFP's mission expanded to support the Cold War effort through plutonium production during the nuclear arms race and later the processing of fuel grade mixed plutonium-uranium oxide to support DOE's breeder reactormore » program. In October 1990, at the close of the production mission for PFP, a shutdown order was prepared by the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC and issued to the Richland DOE field office. Subsequent to the shutdown order, a team from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) analyzed the hazards at PFP associated with the continued storage of certain forms of plutonium solutions and solids. The assessment identified many discrete actions that were required to stabilize the different plutonium forms into stable form and repackage the material in high integrity containers. These actions were technically complicated and completed as part of the PFP nuclear material stabilization project between 1995 and early 2005. The completion of the stabilization project was a necessary first step in deactivating PFP. During stabilization, DOE entered into negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Washington and established milestones for the Deactivation and Decommissioning (D&D) of the PFP. The DOE and its contractor, Fluor Hanford (Fluor), have made great progress in deactivating, decontaminating and decommissioning the PFP at the Hanford Site as detailed in this paper. Background information covering the PFP D&D effort includes descriptions of negotiations with the State of Washington concerning consent-order milestones, milestones completed to date, and the vision of bringing PFP to slab-on-grade. Innovative approaches in planning and regulatory strategies, as well new technologies from within the United States and from other countries and field decontamination techniques developed by workforce personnel, such as the ''turkey roaster'' and the ''lazy Susan'' are covered in detail in the paper. Critical information on issues and opportunities during the performance of the work such as concerns regarding the handling and storage of special nuclear material, concerns regarding criticality safety and the impact of SNM de-inventory at PFP are also provided. The continued success of the PFP D&D effort is due to the detailed, yet flexible, approach to planning that applied innovative techniques and tools, involved a team of experienced independent reviewers, and incorporated previous lessons learned at the Hanford site, Rocky Flats, and commercial nuclear D&D projects. Multi-disciplined worker involvement in the planning and the execution of the work has produced a committed workforce that has developed innovative techniques, resulting in safer and more efficient work evolutions.« less