© 2019 Northwind Engineering, LLC

WESTINGHOUSE HEMATITE FORMER NUCLEAR FUEL ROD FACILITY DECOMMISSIONING

Northwind was subcontracted in 2008 to provide construction support services in Hematite, Missouri as part of the Hematite Decommissioning Plan. In 2014, Northwind was awarded Prime Contractor.

The main goal of this project was to decommission a radiologically-contaminated site and ensure its safety to the public. This project required Northwind to design and build a multitude of diverse structures including railroad spurs, weigh scales, flow paths, fencing, stream redirection infrastructure, culverts, and haul roads. We performed groundwater modeling to determine inflow in order to design a water treatment plant, which we also built and operated.

As part of our extensive site investigation, radiological surveys of buried and embedded piping were assessed for nuclear criticality and safety requirements. “Cut-plans” were developed along with waste disposition strategies. Northwind used hermit data loggers and pressure transducers, as well as In-Situ transducers, to thoroughly investigate this complex site. We used Surfer for ground interface and Aquasolve for calculating pumping curves.

Northwind provided thirty craft personnel along with two field technicians, a professional engineer, and heavy construction equipment for this effort.

 

Northwind employees completed the demolition and packaging for off-site disposal materials for site buildings and infrastructure not designated for unrestricted release. The soil was excavated and segregated with soil that would be acceptable for use for re-use as backfill. Soil was also treated due to the possibility of containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from waste. Radioactive, hazardous and mixed waste transportation for packaging and disposal were coordinated. Backfill was excavated using a combination of on-site material determined to be suitable for re-use and materials from a pre-evaluated source.

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Employees also performed Final Status Surveys (FSS) and sampling within structures, systems and soils that remained at the time of license termination. The Final Status Surveys (FSS) data summary reports, optionally in a logical sequence as phases of the decommissioning were completed.

As part of Northwind’s safety policies all craft personnel received activity-specific training before beginning the work while also receiving updated and refresher training as work changes and evolved.

 

Unique to this job, Northwind designed and constructed an OSHA-certified fall system as a tie-off system was not available. With the harness system, employees were able to work without restrictions and freedom of movement without worry and they had ability to perform their work in a safe and secure manner.

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