SAN FRANCISCO - March 29, 2012
Bechtel Project Director Reaffirms Commitment to WTP Safety Culture
Project Director Briefs Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and Public
Bechtel’s project director at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (WTP), also known as the “Vit Plant,” has publicly reaffirmed project leadership’s commitment to ensuring a world-class nuclear safety and quality culture at WTP. Frank Russo provided the assurance during the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) hearing and public meeting on March 22 in Kennewick, Washington. He emphasized that a robust safety culture is essential to building a radioactive waste facility that operates safely and described ongoing efforts to improve the project’s culture.
“We appreciate the dialogue with the DNFSB and its valuable insights in working toward our common goal of building a safe, operational vitrification facility to address the serious risk posed by Hanford’s radioactive tank wastes,” Russo said following the meeting. “We are committed to solving this national problem and to this important mission, which will keep the Pacific Northwest safe for generations to come.”
The Vit Plant will immobilize 56 million gallons of radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks in southeastern Washington State. The waste, a byproduct of plutonium production during World War II and the Cold War era, will be turned into glass using proven vitrification technology.
Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI), a member of the Bechtel group of companies, is designing and constructing the Vit Plant for the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Bechtel cultivates its culture of quality and safety through three focus areas: leadership, employee engagement, and organizational learning. The company provides employees with the information and tools they need to actively implement these focus areas in their everyday work.