Bechtel Announces Plan to Continue Strengthening WTP Safety Culture
13 June 2012
Plan is Part of Comprehensive Effort to Ensure Plant will Operate Safely and Effectively
Bechtel unveiled its comprehensive plan to continue strengthening its commitment to nuclear safety and quality at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) project in Washington state. In the plan, the Bechtel leadership team identified the specific actions needed to advance WTP’s safety culture.
“The plan is an integral part of our approach to ensure WTP will operate safely and effectively for generations to come. It contains the steps needed to further develop a high level of understanding, acceptance, and adherence to the principles, traits, and attributes of a strong nuclear safety and quality culture,” said Frank Russo, Bechtel’s project director at WTP.
The Bechtel WTP senior leadership team developed the plan with the assistance of Edward ”Ward” Sproat, who has significant experience in nuclear culture. The plan is based on review and analysis of information and recommendations from WTP employee surveys, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, DOE’s Office of Health, Safety, and Security, and the Independent Safety and Quality Culture Assessment Team.
“The focus now is on the effective implementation of the plan. We are putting a process in place to measure the progress and effectiveness of the actions and their implementation,” said Sproat. Before joining Bechtel in 2009, Sproat served as DOE’s director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management and as an executive of Exelon.
Bechtel National Inc. (BNI), a member of the Bechtel group of companies, is a leader in environmental cleanup and restoration of former nuclear weapon production sites. BNI’s experience includes the cleanup, remediation, and closure of high-level nuclear waste facilities in Washington state, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
BNI is designing and constructing WTP for DOE. Bechtel’s design and construction of the facility will protect the public and the environment by responsibly eliminating the threat to the nation posed by 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. The waste, a byproduct of plutonium production during World War II and the Cold War era, is currently stored in underground tanks. WTP will immobilize the liquid waste by turning it into glass using proven vitrification technology.