$11 Million Subcontract Awarded to FE&C

Weapons Complex Monitor
May 18, 2012

Federal Engineers and Constructors of Richland has been awarded a $10.8 million subcontract for construction work to prepare for sludge retrieval from the Hanford K West Basin.  FE&C will modify an anney attached to the K West Basin for CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., which is responsible for removing the sludge from the basin and treating it.  Radioactive sludge will be pumped from underwater, engineered containers in the K West Basin into the modified annex, where it will go into casks.  The casks will be loaded onto a trailer there to be taken to central Hanford, to allow cleanup of the Columbia River corridor to be completed by 2015.  The K West Annex now is a framed steel structure on a concrete foundation with metal siding and is currently not suitable for working with radioactive waste, but it sits in an ideal location.  FE&C will expand it with a reinforced concrete structure to 53 feet long and 26 feet wide, which will measure 35 feet high.  A roll up door that is 14 feet wide and 16 feet high will be required to accomodate equipment and the trailer on which the cask will be located.  The annex will need to be upgradet to a nuclear Hazard Category 2 facility, meeting NQA-1 standards, including shielding ducts for the slurry transfer lines to protect workers.  The new portion of the annex will be seismically isolated from the existing annex, plus it will have protections in place to prevent a fire from spreading.  The modified annex also will need heating, ventilation and air conditioning to allow work year round.

The work by FE&C is expected to take about a year.  "Making these modifications will help us support DOE's commitment to move this very hazardous material to a facility in the center of the site, away from the river," Ty Blackford, CH2M Hill vice president responsible for sludge treatment said in a statement.  "It's a top priority for Hanford cleanup."  The award to FE&C also supports CH2M Hill's goal of awarding at least 49.3 percent of its work to small business.  The sludge casks will be stored temporarily at T Plant until a treatment method is developed and a disposal method is determined.  Once the sludge is taken to T Plant, the modified annex will be demolished along with other buildings around the K West reactor that are no longer needed.  CH2M Hill alread has removed 57 support structures near the K West and K East Reactors.