Jan. 25, 2021 marked the official start of work as the new contractor for nuclear waste cleanup on the Hanford Site’s Central Plateau along the Columbia River. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford cleanup mission, the Central Plateau Cleanup Co. (CPCCo) continued the risk-reduction activities managed by a previous contractor.
The three partner companies that form CPCCo – Amentum, Fluor, and Atkins Nuclear Secured – bring more than a century of nuclear cleanup experience to the job. Collectively, the companies have decommissioned nearly 1,200 facilities and disposed of more wasted for the U.S. environmental cleanup program than any other.
“One of our top priorities this year is the completion of final demolition activities at the Plutonium Finishing Plant,” said Scott Sax, CPCCo President and Project Manager. “Last year, Hanford celebrated completion of demolition on the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) main processing facility. Today, final risk-reduction activities within the former PFP footprint include packaging and safe disposal of the rubble from the Plutonium Reclamation Facility, sampling of soil beneath the building pads, and stabilization of the site with a soil cover.
Completion of this work is expected by late summer. “Finishing work on this iconic facility will put a cap on a historic accomplishment in the overall cleanup mission,” continued Sax.
Other key priorities for CPCCo over the next several years include:
• Transfer of nearly 2,000 highly radioactive capsules in the Waste Encapsulation Storage Facility to safer dry storage
• Maximizing groundwater cleanup along the Columbia River
• Placement of the K-West and K-East reactors in interim safe storage
• Removal of highly radioactive soil beneath the 324 Building
• Preparing the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF), an engineered landfill, to receive vitrified low-activity waste from the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant to provide permanent, environmentally safe disposition
“IDF is a great example of the collaborative One Hanford approach,” said Sax. “All of the sites prime contractors are working together towards a common goal of getting the waste out of the tanks and treating it for safe disposal.”
Sax added, “This is an exciting time for CPCCo, and our team has been specially assembled to safely and successfully accelerate Hanford’s cleanup mission. With a supremely talented and experienced work force of more than 1,800, we look forward to partnering with DOE, regulators and stakeholders to make Hanford a model for success across the DOE Complex!”