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Bechtel Hanford: Pentek System Supports Decon of Solar Basins

The four large 183-H solar basins at Hanford required removal of 1/4-inch (6 mm) of contaminated concrete from floors and walls.

The four large 183-H solar basins at Hanford required removal of 1/4-inch (6 mm) of contaminated concrete from floors and walls.

Bechtel Hanford, Inc. (BHI), a DOE Environmental Restoration contractor, recently evaluated concrete decontamination methods for a 183-H Solar Basin project at the Hanford Site in Washington State. Four large basins, used as evaporation areas for a vanety of hazardous and irradiated wastes, roughly 37,000 square feet (3,400 M²) in total area, required the removal of a uniform 1/4-inch (6 mm) surface layer of concrete.

“We had some problems related to the vacuum blasting equipment we initially used due to the need to repeatedly replace internal components,” said Rod Griffin, BHI’s construction supervisor. BHI reviewed alternate remediation processes after the downtime began to seriously impact their project schedule.

“Blasting is pretty good for coatings removal on flat surfaces, but is simply not designed for aggressive concrete decontamination,” said Rod Griffin. “Pentek, on the other hand, provides a dry, effective system specifically designed for radiological concrete remediation.”

A demonstration at Pentek’s Pittsburgh training facility resulted in BHI’s decision to procure a complete Pentek system, including the SQUIRREL®-I, a recent addition to Pentek’s integrated dustless decontamination equipment. This single piston, air-driven scabbler with localized exhaust is designed to aggressively remove 1/4-inch (6mm) of concrete in a single pass. According to BHI, the SQUIRREL®-I scabblers aggressively culled concrete from the vertical and horizontal basin surfaces without creating worrisome airborne or safety concerns. The tools were later used to chase down “hot spots” and crevices after the uppermost 1/4-inch (6 mm) stratum was removed.

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Reprinted from Pentek Ink, Vol 11

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