Critical infrastructure improvements taking place at Hanford - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Critical infrastructure improvements taking place at Hanford

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RICHLAND, WA – The U.S. Department of Energy Richland Operations Office and prime contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA) have recently completed a significant infrastructure project to allow important cleanup work to continue at the Hanford site.

MSA has recently completed the replacement of nearly five miles of aging water lines. Replacement of these lines not only eliminates the need for frequent emergency repairs, but new control, vent, and drain valves provide better and more reliable operation of these sections of the site water system.

“Critical infrastructure improvement projects, like replacing World War II-era water lines, are necessary to invest in, despite the steadily shrinking cleanup footprint at Hanford,” said Tom Fletcher, deputy manager at the Richland Operations Office. “We are replacing old utilities that served a large site with more efficient systems that are the right size for a smaller cleanup area.”

As the site integrator at Hanford, MSA is responsible for maintaining and improving site infrastructure. This project also focused on safety and minimizing impact to the environment. Attention was given to areas of old growth sagebrush and possible impact to biological communities. At the completion of construction, all disturbed ground areas were re-vegetated with natural shrubs and grasses to help bring it back to its natural state.

The water system supports more than 8,000 workers in the Central Plateau at Hanford, where most of the cleanup work will be focused in the coming years. The system provides water for the sanitary water system and supplies the raw water grid and reservoirs. It also brings water from the Columbia River for fire protection and construction use on the site.

“It was exciting to be a part of the team upgrading critical infrastructure at Hanford. It required both coordination and communication with various organizations at MSA, our subcontractors and with other Hanford contractors,” said Dan Parr, MSA project manager. “Completion of this project means that the workers on the Central Plateau have the reliable water necessary to continue Hanford cleanup.”