Included in the scope of work for the River Corridor Closure Contract is placing the four remaining plutonium production reactors – some dating back to the 1940s – in interim safe storage, also known as cocooning; cleaning up waste sites and burial grounds located near the Columbia River; demolishing contaminated facilities; and operating the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility.
This is a continuation of work currently done by employees working on the existing Environmental Restoration Contract, managed by Bechtel Hanford, a subsidiary of Bechtel National. The Bechtel-led Environmental Restoration Contract team includes preselected subcontractors CH2M Hill Hanford and Eberline Services Hanford. The new River Corridor Closure Contract will replace the Environmental Restoration Contract and incorporate several facilities, waste sites and activities that are currently the responsibility of Fluor Hanford and PNNL.
"We are delighted to be a part of the WGI team and look forward to continuing our association with DOE in cleaning up the Hanford Site shoreline along the Columbia River," said Craig Weaver, president of the Energy and Environment Division for Bechtel National.
"I also want to thank the current team for the tremendous progress they have made on Hanford cleanup in the past 11 years. When we began work on the Environmental Restoration Project in 1994 we promised progress. If you take a look at the record, you’ll agree we delivered on that promise," said Weaver.
"The Hanford landscape looks far different today than it did a decade ago," said Weaver. "It is much cleaner, and employees, the public and the environment are much safer than they were in 1994 as a result of work by the Environmental Restoration Project team.
Some of the accomplishments made by the Bechtel-led Environmental Restoration Project since 1994 include:
- Cleaning up nearly 60 percent of the estimated 10 million tons of contaminated soil and debris located along the Columbia River and disposed of it at the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility.
- Decontaminating and decommissioning the first high-risk plutonium facility at Hanford years ahead of schedule and avoiding millions in project costs.
- Developing the interim storage concept and completing cocooning ahead of schedule and under budget of four reactors, with another nearly complete.
- Constructing, expanding and operating the most efficient low-level waste disposal site in the DOE complex.
- Cleaning up the N Reactor fuel storage basin, including removing 350 pounds of spent fuel elements and sludge.
- Developing the first ever, site-wide, integrated cleanup strategy addressing contaminated groundwater.