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EM Update | Vol. 13, Issue 25 | June 29, 2021


Virtual Career Fairs Keep Prospective Hanford Employees in Viewfinder

RICHLAND, Wash.EM hiring managers and workforce management recruiters at the Hanford Site recently participated in two national virtual career fairs to interact with potential employees.

“EM’s Richland Operations Office and Office of River Protection are committed to hiring veterans and helping the next generation of Hanford workers needed in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),” said Lisa Bonser, workforce resource manager at the Hanford Site.

At the STEM Diversity Virtual Career Fair, recruiters connected with professionals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and college students from across the country.

“EM has long recognized STEM as a cornerstone to developing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills,” Bonser said.


Sydney Nachbaur, with the Hanford Site workforce management organization, answered questions from potential employees recently at the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Diversity Virtual Career Fair. The fair was conducted online as a chatroom-style event.

Hanford federal staff and contractors regularly participate in STEM programs and sponsor internships to nurture future scientists and possible Hanford employees.

Also this month, EM hiring officials and Hanford workforce management recruiters attended the Recruit Military Transitioning Army and Military Spouse Virtual Career Fair. The event connected recruiters with professionals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and military spouses.

Many military veterans work at Hanford. The career fair provided EM the opportunity to seek potential employees as well as show veterans how to apply their skills and military experience to the needs of EM and Hanford.

Waste Shipments Support Continued Progress at Hanford Reactor Basin

Workers with EM contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company recently packaged and transferred the first shipment of contaminated filter media from the K West Reactor fuel storage basin for safe interim storage at T Plant on the Hanford Site.

RICHLAND, Wash.EM’s Richland Operations Office (RL) and contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company have safely packaged and shipped the first engineered container of highly contaminated filter media from the K West Reactor spent fuel storage basin to T Plant on the Hanford Site.

The complex project required workers to design a system to remotely access 6-foot-tall filter vessels enclosed behind an 18-inch-thick concrete shield wall. The remote system allows operators to remove and place the hazardous material safely in the shielded containers for transport out of the basin. The filter media was used to remove radionuclides from the water in the 1.2-million-gallon basin during fuel packaging operations.

Crews will transfer the filter media to T Plant in three separate shipments for safe interim storage away from the Columbia River, with the final shipment expected in August. The work follows the successful removal and transfer of radioactive fuel sludge in September 2019.

Removal of the contaminated material will allow workers to dispose of the filter system safely during demolition of the facility.

“The safe containment and transport of the contaminated filter media is another key step toward removing water from and demolishing the basin,” said Mark French, RL project and facilities division director. “Our teams continue to make excellent progress on this critical risk-reduction project.”

-Contributor: Dieter Bohrmann

Environmental Management System Deemed 'Robust' at Savannah River Site


From left, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) mechanic Todd Cockrell, engineer John Bradley, and project manager Joao Cardoso-Neto plan the removal and dismantlement of a high-vacuum soil vapor extraction unit at the Savannah River Site. SRNS was one of two major contractors at the site to receive high marks for their environmental management system. 

AIKEN, S.C. – Two major EM contractors at the Savannah River Site received high marks from a recent independent audit of their environmental management system.

The audit team, led by third-party independent evaluators from DOE headquarters and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), conducted an extensive evaluation of the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) and Savannah River Remediation (SRR) environmental programs, including environmental regulatory compliance, direct environmental operations, and significant environmental protection and remediation projects and activities. SRNS is the site’s management and operations contractor and SRR is EM’s liquid waste contractor at SRS.

The final audit report to the contractors concluded that the environmental management system conforms to standards set by the ISO, as well as both organizations’ environmental protection requirements set forth by DOE and other regulatory agencies. The report describes the contractor programs as “robust” and states that all focus areas “appear to be professionally managed, well-coordinated, and operationally effective.”

“SRNS is proud of our environmental program that strives to restore and protect the land, water, and air at SRS and our surrounding communities,” said Rick Sprague, SRNS senior vice president, environmental stewardship, safety, health, and quality assurance. “The audit findings verify that we remain on the right path in this important area of our work.”


Savannah River Remediation employees install a new ion-exchange column in the Tank Closure Cesium Removal unit at the Savannah River Site. The demonstration project is helping to accelerate tank closure at the site.

Patricia Allen, SRR director, environment, safety, health, and quality and contractor assurance, said the audit report shows the liquid waste work conducted by SRR is being handled safely while demonstrating adherence to all policies and procedures designed to protect people, the environment, and the plant.

“Cleaning and closing waste tanks are mammoth-sized jobs that SRR understands and executes well,” Allen said. “This independent audit highlights how seriously we take our work, particularly how well we protect workers, the community, and the environment. And that’s the way it should be. We live here, too.”

In addition to achieving conformance with ISO standards, the successful completion of the audit ensures that the SRNS and SRR environmental management system meets DOE expectations outlined in a DOE order that requires contractors develop and implement an environmental management system that is certified to, or conforms with, the ISO standard.

“Despite our ability to sustain a 'robust' environmental management system, the desired outcome of any third-party evaluation is to identify opportunities to continuously improve. SRNS is a learning organization that appreciates the feedback provided by independent experts. The auditors provided four opportunities for improvement, and we look forward to implementing their suggestions to further strengthen our environmental management systems posture,” said Sprague.

The audit is performed every three years for SRNS and SRR. It is conducted both onsite and in remote locations and consists of inspections, personnel interviews, and facility visits.

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 165 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

-Contributors: Angie Benfield, Dean Campbell

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