Articles by Guest Contributor

Extensions related to Covid-19 bumped the startup of Hanford’s Low Activity Waste vitrification plant to March 2024, from Dec. 31, 2023. The scheduled startup of Hanford’s high-level waste treatment plant in 2033 has been kept intact. (Courtesy Bechtel National Inc.)

Covid-19 slowed but did not stop progress on Hanford cleanup

An act of God. Or, among lawyers, a force majeure. Many contracts have force majeure clauses to govern what happens when faced with circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The global Covid-19 pandemic certainly falls into this category. How much did Covid-19 affect Hanford’s cleanup mission? Not much in the big picture. Some tank waste pumping will…


Hanford plant is on cusp of melting waste after an eventful 2020

The Hanford site team has consistently supported our nation during unprecedented times and this year has been no different. The innovation and determination of our workers, from the most experienced leaders to those just starting their careers, have ensured success throughout our site history during both the national security mission of the past and today’s…

Local officials, including Washington’s congressional delegation, are working to ensure the new leaders in the executive branch understand the complex cleanup work that needs to continue at Hanford. (Courtesy Bechtel National Inc.)

What does a new administration mean for Hanford?

What does having a new president in office mean for Hanford? Specifically, what does it mean to have President Joe Biden, a former vice president and longtime U.S. senator, in the Oval Office? What does it mean to have Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, at the helm at the U.S. Department of Energy…


State’s new manager hopes to offer fresh look at Hanford’s challenging issues

As the new manager for the state of Washington’s Nuclear Waste Program, I appreciate the opportunity to reach out and introduce myself to the Tri-City community. I’ve been on the job at Nuclear Waste for the past several months, but I’m not new to this area or its economy and concerns. I’m a 50-plus year…


Bechtel’s vitrification plant heating up in 2021

Progress is heating up at Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. Also known as the vit plant, the project is taking a permanent step forward at the end of this year – heating up our first 300-ton low-activity waste melter. The melters are the heart of the vitrification process, which will turn Hanford’s waste into…


Building on past progress for a brighter future Jan. 25 marked our official start of work as the new contractor for nuclear waste cleanup on the Hanford site’s Central Plateau and along the Columbia River. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford cleanup mission, the Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo) will continue the risk-reduction activities managed by previous contractor,…

The Tri-Cities Local Business Association and other small business advocates expressed concern about how small Hanford subcontractors were handled during recent contract changes at the Hanford site. (Courtesy Tri-Cities Local Business Association)

Small Hanford subcontractors cry foul amid contractor changes

It’s the suddenness that bothers Phil Gallagher, senior vice president of Babcock Services Inc., a longtime Hanford subcontractor. No one had a chance to prepare for a major – albeit likely short term – change in how Hanford’s two biggest prime contractors handled many of their subcontractors. In January, the U.S. Department Energy directed new…


Working to ensure worker health in challenging times

Last year was extremely challenging for everyone. HPMC Occupational Medical Services (OMS) continued health care support to Hanford workers as the site transitioned to reduced operations and teleworking early in the year and progressed through the first two phases of remobilization of workers to the site as the year continued. HPMC OMS’ ability to maintain…


Pandemic didn’t stop us from making progress on our goals

Each year, I appreciate the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business’ Hanford edition, which is the perfect opportunity to update our community on Washington River Protection Solutions’ accomplishments as the U.S. Department of Energy’s tank operations contractor at the Hanford site. As we all know, this past year has been like no other. Covid-19 has caused…


Integration, innovation key focuses for new Hanford contractor

On January 25, 2021, an era that will be marked with increased integration efforts, infrastructure upgrades and state-of-the-art technology officially began at the Hanford site. Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS) began its work on the Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract, taking over after more than 11 years of leadership by Mission Support Alliance. While two…

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