WRPS recognized for hiring, promoting workers with disabilities

Disabilities award 2RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is one of eight local companies recognized by the state’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for recruiting, hiring and promoting individuals with disabilities.

WRPS received an outreach award at the “Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers” breakfast ceremony Tuesday at the TRAC Center in Pasco. The event helps increase awareness about diversity and disability in the workplace while bringing together service providers, employers and individuals with disabilities.

“We’re very proud of this award,” said Mark Lindholm, WRPS president and project manager. “We’ve put together a highly skilled, safety-conscious workforce at WRPS by focusing on abilities rather than disabilities.”

WRPS, Hanford’s tank farms contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection, has a workforce of more than 2,000 employees. The company has hired 35 individuals with disabilities and has a total of 123 employees who have self-identified their disability status.

WRPS regularly posts job openings with organizations such as Deaf to Work, Enable America, Think Beyond the Label and the United Spinal Association, as well as with colleges specific to students with disabilities. In addition, WRPS works with representatives from the DVR to encourage individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and also works with organizations such as Goodwill Industries and Service Alternatives to promote employees with disabilities.

The “Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers” event included educational sessions on hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities, and career fairs for individuals with disabilities and high school seniors transferring into the workforce.

WRPS, owned by AECOM and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is responsible for managing and reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s 177 underground tanks.

Hanford exhauster repurposed to remove excess liquid from leaking tank

T-111 exhausterRICHLAND, Wash.—Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), the Hanford tank operations contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of River Protection, is using a portable exhauster to remove excess liquid from Tank T-111.

WRPS recently completed a 30-day test run of the exhauster, and initial results show liquid is being evaporated at a rate of about 25 to 30 gallons per day.

The exhauster has removed nearly 1,000 gallons of water from T-111 during the test run, and another 1,000 gallons have been removed through Sept. 28. In-tank images show visible changes in the waste surface and liquid-level data confirm the decrease.

“The exhauster is performing as we hoped it would,” said Mark Lindholm, WRPS president and project manager. “This is an important step in the right direction as we try to minimize liquid inside T-111.”

The volume of surface liquid in the tank is estimated to be between 2,500 and 4,000 gallons. The exhauster will also remove liquid in the top few inches of the sludge waste remaining in the tank.

The liquid in the tank is a combination of intrusion water and residual liquid remaining from interim tank stabilization in the mid-1990s.

Although exhausters have been used in the past to evaporate excess liquid from single-shell tanks, this is the first exhauster system WRPS has used for single-shell tank intrusion mitigation. This approach removes liquid from single-shell tanks that are known or suspected leakers.

T-111 is considered a leaking tank and contains about 436,000 gallons of sludge waste. The tank was first declared of questionable integrity in 1974 and most of the supernatant liquid was removed.

If deemed successful, a similar approach might be used in more than two dozen other single-shell tanks with visible liquid.

Lindholm named President and Project Manager for Washington River Protection Solutions

Mark Lindholm

Lindholm named President and Project Manager for Washington River Protection Solutions

Richland, WA – Mark Lindholm has been named President and Project Manager for Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), after serving as acting president of the company since Oct. 1, 2015. Lindholm replaced Dave Olson, who retired from WRPS on Sept. 30, 2015.

Lindholm will lead the remediation of radioactive and hazardous waste tanks at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site. He had been serving as WRPS Chief Operating Officer since January 2015 and has more than 30 years of experience in government nuclear facilities operations, including management positions at Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant, the Idaho Cleanup Project, and the Savannah River Site. He previously held a senior role at WRPS as the manager of Single-Shell Tank Retrieval and Closure from 2008 to 2010.

WRPS
WRPS, owned by AECOM and EnergySolutions, with integrated subcontractor AREVA, is a prime contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection and is responsible for managing and reducing the risk posed by the waste stored in Hanford’s underground tanks.