AREVA Awarded $19M Subcontract for Hanford Cleanup - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AREVA Awarded $19M Subcontract for Hanford Cleanup

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Washington Closure Hanford has awarded AREVA Federal Services LLC a subcontract worth nearly $19 million to begin engineering and design for cleanup at Hanford. Washington Closure Hanford has awarded AREVA Federal Services LLC a subcontract worth nearly $19 million to begin engineering and design for cleanup at Hanford.

RICHLAND, WA - Washington Closure Hanford has awarded AREVA Federal Services LLC a subcontract worth nearly $19 million to begin engineering and design for cleanup at Hanford. 

The waste site consists of contaminated soil beneath the 324 Building, also called Chemical and Materials Engineering Laboratory. The 324 Building is located in the 300 Area about a mile north of Richland and a quarter-mile from the Columbia River. 

"Extensive characterization of the soil indicated radiation levels approaching 10,000 Rad/hr," said Gary Snow, director of Washington Closure's D4 (Deactivation, Decontamination, Decommissioning, and Demolition) organization. "AREVA provides the experience and technical expertise needed to safely and efficiently perform such complex and hazardous work." 

The 324 Building was constructed from 1964 to 1966 and operated until 1996. It contained shielded rooms called "hot cells," where workers used remotely operated equipment to perform experiments with highly radiological materials. 

While decontaminating the building in preparation for demolition in November 2009, Washington Closure discovered a breach in the sump of "B-Cell," the building's largest and most contaminated hot cell. The contamination was caused by a spill of highly radioactive liquid during the mid-1980s that migrated from the B-Cell's sump area into the underlying soil. 

Characterization of the waste site revealed the contamination has remained beneath B-Cell's footprint. Radiation measurements also decrease to non-detectable levels before reaching groundwater. The 324 Building will be left standing to provide shielding and confinement of radioactive materials during waste site remediation. 

AREVA will perform assessments, engineering, and construction of a functional full-scale mockup of B-Cell and its associated hot cells. It will begin work this month and conclude by September 2015. Physical remediation of the waste site will be awarded at a later date. The remediation work will involve removing the highly contaminated soil using remotely operated equipment, and processing the material for packaging and disposition. 

"Remediating this highly hazardous waste site is essential to our mission of protecting the public, the environment and the Columbia River," Snow said. "It will also allow us to take another step toward completing cleanup of the 300 Area by removing the 324 Building." 

The work is part of the River Corridor Closure Project

DOE's largest environmental cleanup closure project. The River Corridor is a 220-square-mile area along the Columbia River that was home to Hanford's nine plutonium production reactors, fuel development facilities, and hundreds of support structures that operated during World War II and the Cold War years. 

Washington Closure is a limited liability company led by URS and its partners Bechtel National and CH2M Hill. The company is 90 percent complete with its work scope, having demolished 296 of 321 buildings, cleaned up 465 of 591 waste sites, placed two nuclear reactors in interim safe storage, and disposed of 9.5 million tons of contaminated material in Hanford's Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility.

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