WVDP workers safely take down penthouse enclosure

Olean Times Herald — July 29, 2023

WEST VALLEY — Environmental Management and its cleanup contractor at the West Valley Demonstration Project have safely removed a penthouse enclosure as part of the ongoing demolition of the Main Plant Process Building.

“Safety comes down to planning, preparation and robust controls,” said Stephen Bousquet, Main Plant Project Director. “Our team continues to perform work in a deliberate and methodical manner that’s protective of our workforce, the public and the environment.”

The Main Plant is one of the last remaining major facilities at West Valley. Its successful demolition will further reduce environmental risks and position the site for the next phase of cleanup. The demolition is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete.

Crews recently completed the controlled demolition of the Chemical Process Cell penthouse. A steel-framed and concrete block enclosure, it housed a 125-ton shield door used during former reprocessing operations. The enclosure also housed a mechanism to raise and lower the shield door.

The Chemical Process Cell was once used to dissolve sheared spent nuclear fuel and reduce the volume of high-level waste generated in the fuel reprocessing solvent extraction process

Prior to removing the penthouse, crews with CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley (CHBWV) accessed the cell by dismantling its 5-foot-thick, steel-reinforced concrete walls. They took down the enclosure in a safe and deliberate manner while using equipment to control dust at its source. Workers also removed two levels of accessible steel storage racks and packaged debris for offsite disposal.

“Using lessons learned and a deliberate approach from previous demolition activities has been an excellent combination for safety and success,” said Tom Dogal, CHBWV Facility Disposition Manager.

Crews are also working toward carrying out an EM 2023 priority: dispose of 9,000 tons of Main Plant demolition waste.

For more information

on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, please contact:

Nancy Raca, Facilitator
West Valley Citizen Task Force
c/o Highland Planning