THE CREATIVE APPLICATION OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY & WORK FORCE INNOVATIONS TO THE D&D OF PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) AT THE HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION

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The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) consists of a number of process and support buildings for handling plutonium. Building construction began in the late 1940's to meet national priorities and became operational in 1950 producing refined plutonium salts and metal for the United States nuclear weapons program. The primary mission of the PFP was to provide plutonium used as special nuclear material for fabrication into a nuclear device for the war effort. Subsequent to the end of World War II, the PFP's mission expanded to support the Cold War effort through plutonium production during the nuclear arms race. PFP has now ... continued below

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CHARBONEAU, S.L. February 1, 2006.

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  • Hanford Site (Wash.)
    Publisher Info: Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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The Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) consists of a number of process and support buildings for handling plutonium. Building construction began in the late 1940's to meet national priorities and became operational in 1950 producing refined plutonium salts and metal for the United States nuclear weapons program. The primary mission of the PFP was to provide plutonium used as special nuclear material for fabrication into a nuclear device for the war effort. Subsequent to the end of World War II, the PFP's mission expanded to support the Cold War effort through plutonium production during the nuclear arms race. PFP has now completed its mission and is fully engaged in deactivation, decontamination and decommissioning (D&D). At this time the PFP buildings are planned to be reduced to ground level (slab-on-grade) and the site remediated to satisfy national, Department of Energy (DOE) and Washington state requirements. The D&D of a highly contaminated plutonium processing facility presents a plethora of challenges. PFP personnel approached the D&D mission with a can-do attitude. They went into D&D knowing they were facing a lot of challenges and unknowns. There were concerns about the configuration control associated with drawings of these old process facilities. There were unknowns regarding the location of electrical lines and process piping containing chemical residues such as strong acids and caustics. The gloveboxes were highly contaminated with plutonium and chemical residues. Most of the glovebox windows were opaque with splashed process chemicals that coated the windows or etched them, reducing visibility to near zero. Visibility into the glovebox was a serious worker concern. Additionally, all the gloves in the gloveboxes were degraded and unusable. Replacing gloves in gloveboxes was necessary to even begin glovebox cleanout. The sheer volume of breathing air needed was also an issue. These and other challenges and PFP's approach to overcome these challengers are described. Many of the challenges to the D&D work at PFP were met with innovative approaches based on new science and/or technology and many were also based on the creativity and motivation of the work force personnel.

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  • WASTE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE '06 02/26/2006 THRU 03/02/2006 TUCSON, AZ

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  • Report No.: DOE-0321-FP Rev 0
  • Grant Number: DE-AC06-96RL13200
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 875916
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877621

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:59 p.m.

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CHARBONEAU, S.L. THE CREATIVE APPLICATION OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY & WORK FORCE INNOVATIONS TO THE D&D OF PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT (PFP) AT THE HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION, article, February 1, 2006; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877621/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.