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EM’s West Valley site installs Vitrification Facility weather protective cover

Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project pull and smooth out the polyethylene weather protective cover over the Vitrification Facility concrete slab.

Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project pull and smooth out the polyethylene weather protective cover over the Vitrification Facility concrete slab.

Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project work together to roll out the polyethylene weather protective cover over the Vitrification Facility concrete slab.

Workers at the West Valley Demonstration Project work together to roll out the polyethylene weather protective cover over the Vitrification Facility concrete slab.

Vitrification Facility demolition area after cover installation.

Vitrification Facility demolition area after cover installation.

EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) recently completed the installation of a polyethylene weather protective cover over the Vitrification Facility concrete slab.

This protective cover installation signifies the end of all physical work associated with Vitrification Facility demolition project.

Demolition of this facility was completed Sept. 20, 2018. Installation of the cover is necessary to preclude water infiltration into the below-grade portion of the facility as required in this contract.

The former Vitrification Facility was a three-story, 10,700-square-foot structure made up of structural steel, reinforced concrete and metal siding. It had a footprint of 133 feet long by 102 feet wide. It is one of two vitrification facilities to have operated in the United States, and the first one to complete its mission.

“The WVDP Team continues to eliminate potential environmental threats and reduce the site’s footprint,” said Dan Sullivan, the DOE-WVDP federal project director for Main Plant Process Building and Vitrification Facility demolition. “Their safe and compliant work demonstrates their deliberate and methodical approach to decommissioning.”

Prior to its demolition, approximately 10,000 cubic feet of material was removed from the facility, including three very large components. This included the safe loading and offsite disposal of 195-ton Vitrification Facility Melter, 167-ton Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank and 150-ton Melter Feed Hold Tank.

Scott Anderson, president of CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV), EM’s WVDP cleanup contractor, added, “Protecting the workforce and the environment were paramount during the entire demolition process. The installation of this cover signifies months of planning, safe execution and reducing environmental risks. I am proud of our team and what they continue to accomplish.”

Demolition of this facility began Sept. 11, 2017, with Phase 1, and involved removal of the outer sheet metal and steel portions of the facility which had the least radiological contamination.

Phase 2 included the demolition of the heavily reinforced concrete process cell and remaining in-cell equipment.

The final phase was the removal of the crane maintenance room and transfer tunnel which included a 60-ton transfer tunnel door and 100-ton crane maintenance room shield door and other equipment.

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