Nuclear Waste Plant Construction QA

The Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP or Vit Plant) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site was designed and is currently being constructed by Bechtel National, Inc., to solidify a portion of the site’s 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical wastes for eventual permanent disposal. Under subcontract to Bechtel, NV5 provided quality control services during construction of the four nuclear facilities on the 65-acre plant site. This is the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant.

Over a period of 2 ½ years, NV5’s project team – comprised of civil and geotechnical engineers, nuclear facility operations managers, quality assurance professionals, materials laboratory specialists, and construction materials inspectors – performed quality control testing and inspection of materials used in the construction of all four facilities constituting the plant: (1) pre-treatment facility, (2) high-level waste vitrification facility, (3) low-level waste vitrification facility, and (4) analytical laboratory. On a daily basis, we ensured compliance with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA-1) criteria through inspection and testing of thousands of construction material samples (e.g., earthwork, concrete, grout, aggregate, rebar, etc.) both in the field and within our on-site laboratory established for this project.

In addition, NV5 was responsible for providing all necessary dedicated on-site and off-site technical and professional personnel, QA management and surveillances, professional engineering, calculations, testing supervision, laboratory equipment, and miscellaneous tools and materials and incidentals, and NQA-1 compliant documentation and validation of test results. NV5 was able to provide its services to Bechtel and DOE through audit validation of NV5’s Albuquerque Office in-house NQA-1 Program along with NV5’s own validation of its subcontractors.

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