AIKEN, S.C. – Oct. 15, 2018 – Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) was bestowed the Project Management Institute (PMI) Award for Project Excellence at the PMI Professional Awards Gala held in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct. 6 for work completed at the Savannah River Site (SRS) D-Area Ash Basin Project.
The prestigious award recognizes global, large and complex projects that deliver superior performance of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society.
SRNS was selected for the Award for Project Excellence for the first of two phases of work at the SRS D-Area Ash Basin, which was completed ahead of schedule and significantly under budget thanks to exemplary project management strategy and application of sound technical innovation.
The D-Area Ash Basin project is comprised of a two-phased approach to address ash basins that were utilized to manage this material from the D-Area Powerhouse, which provided steam and electricity essential to fulfilling SRS missions for more than 59-years.
“When the D Area Powerhouse closed in 2012, the cleanup of the ash basins was projected for closure. SRNS supported federal regulators to define a cleanup plan that was respectful of federal tax dollars and given a reasonable timeframe for completion, while also achieving cleanup goals and adherence to regulatory compliance,” said Stuart MacVean, SRNS President and CEO.
After negotiations among SRS regulators including, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy (DOE)-Savannah River, a phased approach spanning 5-years and with an estimate over $70 million (both phases) was implemented to perform the cleanup of the ash basins.
The first phase of the cleanup project ($23.8M) consisted of consolidating 131,000 cubic yards of ash and dirt from a 15-acre basin into an adjacent ash landfill. This basin held 36-million gallons of water that had to be properly managed to meet regulatory discharge requirements. To achieve closure, SRNS placed approximately 926,540 square feet of both a geosynthetic clay liner and a geosynthetic drainage layer, covering approximately 21.5 acres, over the consolidated ash and dirt into a protected landfill. The geosynthetic covers provide protection from rainwater intrusion, which prevents migration of ash into the environment.
“Utilizing the cleanup approach agreed upon by SRS regulators and DOE, SRNS was able to capitalize on its exemplary project management expertise to complete the first phase of the D Area Ash Basin Project at a cost savings of $300,000 while accelerating the completion date by more than one year,” MacVean said.
Today, the second and final phase of the project is just days away from completion and is anticipated to realize $8.4 million in cost avoidances. If successful, SRNS will have delivered both phases of the project to closure at a total cost avoidance of $8.7 million.
By addressing the cleanup of the ash basins, SRNS has safeguarded the long-term protection of human health and the environment while also ensuring ash migration to the Savannah River is prevented, protecting delicate ecosystems.
Core to the project management approach applied by SRNS was the selection of a highly capable subcontractor with a proven safety and performance record on large-scale environmental remediation projects. Maintaining open and honest communication with the subcontractor allowed for accelerated resolution of emerging complexities and facilitated active involvement from all stakeholders to achieve timeline acceleration and significant cost savings.
SRNS is completing the final phase of cleanup work at the D-Area Ash Basins and expects to achieve similar results as those attained and recognized by PMI for the completion of phase one.
The PMI is a not-for-profit membership association founded in 1969 to deliver value for millions of professionals worldwide. They strive to advance the project management profession through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. Additionally, they set global standards for project, program and portfolio management and are a model for project management in business and government.