CHANGING THE SAFETY CULTURE IN HANFORD TANK FARMS

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In 2000 the Hanford Tank Farms had one of the worst safety records in the Department of Energy Complex. By the end of FY08 the safety performance of the workforce had turned completely around, resulting in one of the best safety records in the DOE complex for operations of its kind. This paper describes the variety of programs and changes that were put in place to accomplish such a dramatic turn-around. The U.S. Department of Energy's 586-square-mile Hanford Site in Washington State was established during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear materials to end ... continued below

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MV, BERRIOCHOA & LJ, ALCALA January 6, 2009.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 13 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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

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In 2000 the Hanford Tank Farms had one of the worst safety records in the Department of Energy Complex. By the end of FY08 the safety performance of the workforce had turned completely around, resulting in one of the best safety records in the DOE complex for operations of its kind. This paper describes the variety of programs and changes that were put in place to accomplish such a dramatic turn-around. The U.S. Department of Energy's 586-square-mile Hanford Site in Washington State was established during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear materials to end the war. For the next several decades it continued to produce plutonium for the nation's defense, leaving behind vast quantities of radioactive and chemical waste. Much of this waste, 53,000,000 gallons, remains stored in 149 aging single-shell tanks and 28 newer double-shell tanks. One of the primary objectives at Hanford is to safely manage this waste until it can be prepared for disposal, but this has not always been easy. These giant underground tanks, many of which date back to the beginning of the Manhattan Project, range in size from 55,000 gallons up to 1.1 million gallons, and are buried beneath 10 feet of soil near the center of the site. Up to 67 of the older single-shell tanks have leaked as much as one million gallons into the surrounding soil. Liquids from the single-shell tanks were removed by 2003 but solids remain in the form of saltcake, sludges and a hardened heel at the bottom of some tanks. The Department of Energy's Office of River Protection was established to safely manage this waste until it could be prepared for disposal. For most of the last seven years the focus has been on safely retrieving waste from the 149 aging single-shell and moving it to the newer double-shell tanks. Removing waste from the tanks is a difficult and complex task. The tanks were made to put waste in, not take it out. Because of the toxic nature of the waste, both chemically as well as radiologically, all retrieval operations must be performed using remote-controlled equipment which has to be installed in each tank, then removed when retrieval is completed. This process involves a variety of potentially hazardous construction activities including crane and rigging, excavation, electrical and piping work. It also requires strong attention to safety to avoid injuries to personnel and contamination of the environment.

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  • WM09 (WASTE MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIA INC) 03/01/2009 THRU 03/05/2009 PHOENIX AZ

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  • Report No.: WRPS-40007-FP Rev 0
  • Grant Number: DE-AC27-08RV14800
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 946531
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc900856

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 6, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 16, 2016, 2:58 p.m.

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MV, BERRIOCHOA & LJ, ALCALA. CHANGING THE SAFETY CULTURE IN HANFORD TANK FARMS, article, January 6, 2009; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc900856/: accessed June 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.