Veolia is invested in Hanford, future of region

Veolia Nuclear Solutions–Federal Services (VNSFS) has a long and successful history at the Hanford site, where it operates two critical elements of the cleanup – the 222-S Laboratory under a direct contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF), under a subcontract to CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. (CHPRC).

Our engineering services group is based in Richland.

222-S lab works to further mission

The 70,000-square foot 222-S lab handles highly-radioactive samples for purposes of organic, inorganic and radiochemistry analyses.

It contains 11 hot cells, which gives the lab the capability to remotely handle these tank waste samples while minimizing radiation dose to workers. In 2019, our lab staff performed 32,000 analyses on up to 10,000 tank waste samples, up from about 25,000 the year before.

Working with these highly-radioactive samples is something VNSFS does with safety always as its top priority, a fact that is evident in the lab’s stellar safety record.

In addition to tank waste sampling for the DOE Office of River Protection, the 222-S lab also supports other Hanford contractors and projects such as the Spent Fuel Nuclear Project and the Central Plateau Closure Project.

Lab personnel are offering their expertise to further the Hanford mission by working with the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant and the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste initiative to facilitate successful integration of analytical operations.

Together with other Hanford contractors on the vit plant project, VNSFS 222-S lab employees are working to protect the environment and the millions of people who live in the Pacific Northwest.

ERDF is a key player

Not far from the lab, VNSFS is responsible for the full spectrum of landfill management and operations at ERDF, commonly referred to as the hub of the Hanford site cleanup.

The 107-acre facility is DOE’s largest landfill, and is authorized to accept, stage, treat and dispose of low-level radioactive, hazardous and mixed wastes generated by Hanford environmental restoration activities.

VNSFS has managed the Hanford landfill since 2013 and works closely with all Hanford waste generators to ensure waste acceptance criteria and regulatory compliance are met during all phases of waste generation, containerization, transport and disposal activities.

VNSFS’ efforts over the past few years to safely package and dispose of large, contaminated items (instead of shipping them off site) has resulted in significant savings for DOE.

In early 2020, ERDF and sitewide cleanup contractor CHPRC are helping DOE achieve an important milestone at Hanford – completing cleanup of the Plutonium Finishing Plant, where two-thirds of the U.S. Cold War-era plutonium was produced. More than 900 containers of finishing plant waste were disposed at ERDF from December 2018 through February 2020.

“This is a great example of teamwork in a high-hazard environment, with the customer, prime contractor and subcontractor all being on the same page to achieve this milestone. I’m very proud of our team,” said Billy Morrison, VNSFS chief executive officer and president.

From inception to completion

Twenty years of DOE engineering experience means that VNSFS can deliver nuclear, environmental, infrastructure, waste, robotics, process and international engineering services. We are NQA-1 certified with all relevant disciplines and have reach back to more than 1,000 engineers.

Our engineering capabilities cover the full spectrum of project needs from inception through completion. These include strategic planning, code evaluation, feasibility study, specification development, field engineering, condition assessments, life extension analysis and system troubleshooting.

With its many services and capabilities, VNSFS is proud to be a part of One Hanford—a team of highly skilled and dedicated workers. As one, we are committed to safe and ethical work practices throughout our project sites.

Amanda Gilmore is communications lead,  business development for Veolia Nuclear Solutions—Federal Services.

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