Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS) continues to improve upon our role as the Hanford sitewide integrator, providing what is in the best interest of the government and taxpayers. This past year, we capitalized on opportunities to continue providing the fundamentals and foundation that enable the cleanup mission to move forward by evaluating both what is needed now, and what will be needed in the future.
As Hanford prepares to transition back to 24/7 sitewide operations for the first time since the plutonium production mission ended in the 1980s, the site’s culture has transformed. Decision-making on strategic cleanup initiatives and resolution on day-to-day field activities have become the standard across two DOE field offices and six prime contractors.
HMIS is proud to execute One Hanford initiatives to integrate all Hanford contractors to further the Hanford cleanup mission, including leading the Hanford Governance Model that establishes an enhanced operational culture for round-the-clock treatment of waste from Hanford’s large underground tanks, developing the first fully integrated baseline and providing direct support to DOE to communicate Hanford cleanup progress.
The HMIS mission as the site’s essential services provider is to enable cleanup across Hanford. The commissioning of the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) program for treating tank waste will mark the beginning of many firsts for Hanford, and HMIS is actively preparing the site’s infrastructure as we embark on this new era in cleanup.
Over the past year, HMIS supported more than 6,000 pieces of documentation on 2,800 projects supporting DFLAW, ranging from design and construction documentation to procedures and test plans. Modernized telecommunications now allow emergency radio use between our first responders and the Waste Treatment Plant campus, while recently installed fiber cables provide additional network services.
HMIS teams also repaired several miles of roadway to stabilize DFLAW waste transportation routes, and we continue to upgrade Hanford’s electrical infrastructure by modernizing miles of transmission and distribution lines and removing and replacing aging utility poles and conductors. HMIS also has developed contingency plans to minimize any potential disruptions to facilities, assets, power and water services.
Construction continues at the new Central Plateau Water Treatment Facility, which will replace a 1940s-era water treatment plant. When completed, the 10,000-square-foot facility will support the water needs of Central Plateau operations, including DFLAW, and will provide a minimum of 3.5 million gallons of water a day, utilizing an innovative microfiltration method.
Ensuring safety and security is also a top priority as HMIS plays a key role in protecting Hanford’s workforce, the environment and sitewide assets. We ensure Hanford’s roads are safe for travel in the winter while protecting the site’s 580 square miles of land and 10,000 workers, providing best-in-class service with more than 400 employees in our protective forces.
We have a keen understanding of the scale and types of services needed across the entire Hanford enterprise. In 2022, our support of tank waste cleanup efforts included building multi-level scaffoldings at the Effluent Treatment Facility to support facility modifications for future DFLAW treatment. Additionally, HMIS assisted with the testing of innovative cold spray technology which could be used to reinforce double-shell tank walls and improve tank integrity during cleanup.
We also supported several Central Plateau remediation efforts, including demolition work at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) where our teams disconnected water, sewer, power and communication lines, transported a massive excavator from PFP to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, and drained more than 16,000 gallons of water from potable water lines. In addition, drones with our small, unmanned aircraft system program inspected Hanford’s cocooned reactors, as well as the K East reactor which was just transitioned to interim safe storage in October.
HMIS offers hundreds of unique services many probably don’t realize we provide. For example, our Treasury Office processes weekly payroll for more than 6,000 Hanford workers. Our Fire System Maintenance team and Hanford Fire Department partnered on critical repairs and upkeep of aging fire protection systems at Hanford, resulting in more than $2 million in cost avoidance. In addition, our Mission Service Desk typically responds to more than 5,000 requests a month, assisting Hanford employees with computer, email, phone and software issues.
On top of that, DOE’s Emergency Support Function #12 energy response team, based at the HMIS-managed Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center, coordinated life-saving support and emergency response efforts during this year’s hurricane season, including deployments to response centers in Puerto Rico and Florida.
HMIS continues to implement solutions to attract, develop and retain a diverse and skilled workforce to carry out the cleanup mission. Our VALOR (Veterans Advocacy for Learning, Opportunities and Resources) program was launched in 2022 to assist veterans transitioning from military service to civilian careers. HMIS also donated $150,000 to Columbia Basin College’s Pathways to Hanford program to support students interested in careers at Hanford. In addition, HMIS partnered with DOE and One Hanford contractors to host a pair of One Hanford virtual job fairs designed to promote the site as an employer of choice.
The well-being of our community is vital to our HMIS family and the One Hanford mission. It’s why HMIS is committed to creating a company culture of giving that spreads beyond our workforce to positively affect the community around us. Through volunteerism and corporate donations, as well as workforce investment, we are committed to improving the quality of life in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas.
Looking to 2023 and beyond, we will continue to deliver mission integration, introduce new innovations and technologies, and drive improvement of essential service delivery in support of the One Hanford cleanup mission. As the site prepares for expanded waste treatment and 24/7 operations, HMIS will continue developing efficiencies and improvements across Hanford. 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.
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