Cleanup at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho Site took another big step forward with the recently completed construction of the Pit 10 West Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP) VII building and ancillary facilities. Construction of these facilities will enable waste retrieval to commence in Pit 10 West, within the Subsurface Disposal Area at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex.
DOE contracted with North Wind Services, LLC, an Idaho Falls-based small business, in July 2010 to construct the ARP-VII facilities. Mechanical and electrical design was performed by CH2M-WG Idaho. The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). North Wind performed building design, fabrication, erection, construction inspection, and quality verification. The entire project was completed with strict conformance to national nuclear quality assurance standards.
North Wind completed construction in September, two weeks ahead of schedule. Much of the 135-ft x 240-ft retrieval enclosure and the 88-ft x 135-ft air lock were erected during the extreme conditions of Idaho winters. Despite weather conditions, the project was successfully completed on schedule while maintaining an excellent safety record; there were no lost-time or recordable injuries or accidents during the course of the project.
According to Jim Cooper, DOE Deputy Manager for the Idaho Cleanup Project, “Completing this construction project will enable the removal of targeted waste to continue. We are committed to meeting the clean up mission at the Site while maintaining excellent safety in the process and fostering the growth of local small businesses.”
With the construction of the retrieval facility complete, waste retrieval from Pit 10 West is expected to begin ahead of schedule.