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EM Update | Vol. 14, Issue 30 | Aug. 2, 2022


Hanford Weather Station Honored for Excellence

National Weather Service Meteorologist Marc Austin, right, presents awards to Hanford Meteorologist Grant Gutierrez, center, and Aaron Fergusson, manager of program regulatory compliance, natural phenomenon, for Hanford Mission Integration Solutions. The National Weather Service named the Hanford Meteorological Station the 2021 Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador of Excellence for its Pendleton, Oregon office.

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford Site received a StormReady designation from the National Weather Service (NWS), deeming it fully prepared to help the local community with communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property during potential severe weather events.

EM Richland Operations Office contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions manages the Hanford Meteorological Station (HMS), which collects and maintains weather observations and is credited with recording the highest temperature ever documented in Washington state — 120 degrees Fahrenheit — in June 2021.

“The Hanford Meteorological Station has remained a critical resource for weather information across the site for more than 75 years to help plan and execute work safely,” said Kyle Rankin with the Office of River Protection Nuclear Safety Division.


The Hanford Site was recently certified as StormReady by the National Weather Service.

The NWS also honored the HMS team with its 2021 selection for Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador of Excellence.

“The program is meant to recognize those who demonstrate exceptional mission commitment to protecting lives and property,” said NWS Meteorologist Marc Austin. “The Hanford Meteorological Station does a fantastic service for the Hanford Site and the Tri-Cities region to promote weather safety.”

Each NWS office covers a large territory and chooses a single ambassador of excellence each year. In its decision to select Hanford, the NWS added, “The Hanford Meteorological Station was instrumental in assisting a state climate extremes committee in assessing validity of several high temperatures.”

Austin also noted that thorough quality control makes the NWS confident about the weather records kept at Hanford. He added it is likely the June 2021 state temperature record is the first time a record was certified from a weather station not maintained by the NWS.

-Contributor: Robin Wojtanik

SRS Team Honored for Conference Submission on Streamlining Processes


Savannah River Mission Completion’s “superior” team included, from left, Jesse Benedict, Azadeh Samadi-Dezfouli, Brent Gifford and Andrew Jung. (Not pictured: Joshua Pifer)

AIKEN, S.C. – A team of engineers at EM’s Savannah River Site (SRS) has been recognized nationally for their outstanding paper submission for the Waste Management (WM) 2022 Conference held earlier this year.
In June, WM announced that the paper was judged to be “superior,” ranking in the top 20% of all submissions to the event.
The annual WM conference provides a forum for discussing solutions to the management and disposition of radioactive waste and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. The organization established the Superior Paper Award to recognize authors for distinguished contributions to the advancement of radioactive material management.
Savannah River Mission Completion's (SRMC) Azadeh Samadi-Dezfouli, tank farms process engineering and facility support manager; Jesse Benedict, process engineer; and Andrew Jung, system planning modeling lead, earned the Superior Paper honor for their submission, “Tank Farm Upgrades and Salt Batch Preparation Enhancements to Support Feed Supply to SWPF.”
Flowsheet Engineer Joshua Pifer and Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF) Senior Technical Advisor Brent Gifford helped prepare the WM presentation. SRMC is the SRS liquid waste contractor.
SWPF can safely process salt waste at a much higher rate than ever before at SRS. SWPF’s efficiency places heavier demands on supporting facilities and the liquid waste team.
Samadi-Dezfouli, Benedict and Jung analyzed the processes involved in preparing salt batches for SWPF, and their paper explained the steps for pinpointing potential bottlenecks in the liquid waste system that could keep SWPF from meeting production totals in the necessary timeframes.
The group used a model simulation to identify process improvements that would lead to the higher output quantity. The paper, which was presented by Samadi-Dezfouli at the WM conference, explained how the improvements were made and the impacts those changes had across the SRS liquid waste operations.
Samadi-Dezfouli said her team came together with a common purpose.
“The team worked diligently to make improvements to support the feed supply to SWPF and identify and support the movement of greater volumes of waste,” Samadi-Dezfouli said. “We considered and analyzed the process from start to finish to identify meaningful changes. On behalf of our team, we are extremely honored that this award recognizes our efforts.”
The process of compiling and qualifying a single batch of salt waste can be both complex and time-consuming. Samadi-Dezfouli’s team evaluated the overall process and determined that there were opportunities for streamlining, capitalizing on SRMC’s value of continuous improvement.
“Thanks to the efforts of our talented team, we feel the liquid waste operations are better prepared to handle greater quantities of waste — and do so safely,” said Wyatt Clark, SRMC chief operations officer. “We are pleased that the conference organizers recognized both the significance of the group’s analysis of the entire process and the effort to create this ‘superior’ paper submission.”
-Contributor: Jim Beasley

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