New Hanford role in 2021 sets up site for a safe and secure 2022

Like many others have experienced, 2021 brought challenges and changes for Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS). With every challenge comes opportunity, and our team flourished in its new role.

We began operations of the Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract on Jan. 25, 2021, making significant progress to enable Hanford cleanup across a skilled workforce, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and our fellow contractors. HMIS, comprised of global leaders Leidos, Centerra and Parsons, proudly serves as the Hanford sitewide integrator.

In 2021, we consistently demonstrated the “One Hanford” philosophy, providing hundreds of specialized and essential services with an emphasis on integrating sitewide decisions from all stakeholders. This foundation helped establish much success in our first year and will guide HMIS for years to come.

Ensuring safety and security is our No. 1 priority. Whether it’s our workforce, the environment or sitewide assets, HMIS plays a key role in the protection of Hanford. Our focus is broad – from the health of our workforce, especially through the pandemic, or safety during snowstorms, unprecedented heat waves and high winds, to site security – HMIS offers best-in-class protection.

Integrated services

HMIS provides and maintains reliable power, water, roads, information technology, emergency services, business systems, training and more, with a shared vision amongst DOE and our contractor partners on risk reduction and preparations to treat tank waste under the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) program.

By providing integrated services, we create solutions, connect the Hanford enterprise and deliver critical needs at the right time. 

As the site integrator, a significant highlight of 2021 was the start of construction on the Central Plateau Water Treatment Facility, a critical project to support DFLAW and decades of future cleanup on the Hanford site. The new facility, expected to be fully operational in 2023, will produce a minimum of 3.5 million gallons of clean water daily, using low-pressure microfiltration technology. It will automate water services to support risk-reduction cleanup projects and operations to manage, treat and dispose of tank waste.

In addition to a large volume of water, treating tank waste will require continuous, reliable energy to operate pumps and filters and keep melters heated, another crucial component of our site integrator scope. Recent upgrades to Hanford’s electrical infrastructure include modernizing miles of transmission and distribution lines, installing new cables and removing and replacing aging utility poles and conductors.

IT services

Our information technology services support all Hanford operations and contractors and includes four networks, 1,250 servers, 1,800 applications and user support to nearly 9,000 Hanford workers. Support to DFLAW will include emergency management technology for an eventual one million gigabytes of data, more than 1,000 radios used daily and multiple external sirens for emergency notification.

HMIS also will evolve and enhance the One Hanford mission with proven technologies and cutting-edge innovations to better support our Hanford customers. Innovations will include numerous engineering, information management and reliability projects to support DFLAW and future cleanup needs.

Improved mobile data capabilities and remote assistance will help those working in the field across the vast Hanford landscape. Virtual technology, easy to understand animations and software that blends the physical and digital worlds, will greatly improve the services we provide. 

Using the Hanford Governance Model and an upgraded and holistic business management platform, with a focus on the highest level of safety and ethics, HMIS facilitates a rapid and cohesive decision-making process. This is critical as the One Hanford team moves toward an increased pace of operations.

HAMMER center

Providing essential training is another key component of the HMIS scope, ensuring cleanup operations can continue safely. At our Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center, the team provides innovative, hands-on training and expertise to cultivate a safe and highly skilled Hanford workforce.

Life-size props and settings allow training in a safe, realistic environment to meet evolving challenges at Hanford.

HAMMER’s pandemic response and focus on safety earned a 2021 Safety & Health Outreach Award from the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association, recognizing dedication of the staff, worker trainers and subcontractors to successfully retool, restart and safely deliver critical training during the pandemic.

Workforce

We know our people are our most valuable asset, and we value this diverse, dedicated and knowledgeable workforce – the HMIS family, as we often call ourselves. Attracting and retaining this workforce requires a focus on internal employee development, including training and mentoring programs that expand and enhance skills. We are committed to cultivating the next generation workforce through robust internship programs, scholarships and educational support to community partners.

A giving culture

The well-being of our community is vital to the HMIS family and the One Hanford mission. HMIS has created a company culture of giving that spreads beyond our workforce and positively affects the community around us. Through volunteerism and corporate donations, as well as workforce investment, we are committed to improving our local quality of life.

Looking to 2022 and beyond, we will continue to deliver mission integration, introduce new innovations and technologies and drive improvement of essential service delivery to enable the One Hanford cleanup mission.

As the Hanford site prepares for 24/7 operations and waste treatment, HMIS will continue to strive for efficiencies and improvements across Hanford in its role as site integrator and essential services provider.

With a collaborative approach, we will implement reliability projects to upgrade and right-size infrastructure, focus on safety, provide world-class training, and bring the best in innovation and technology. Our success is only possible with the partnership, support and success of DOE, our fellow contractors and the community, and we look forward to serving all of you for years to come.

Robert Wilkinson is president of Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS).

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