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Vault & Reactor Transport and Set

In a project that won the 2015 SC&RA Rigging Job of the Year Award for projects over $2 million, a waste vault and test reactor from a nuclear site in Hanford, Washington. The destination for the components was the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF) approximately 50 miles away. Besides the obvious challenge of dealing with nuclear waste, the location of the pieces called for extensive engineering and planning.

The vault was originally a basement for a larger building. The building had to be removed from above the vault and extensive excavation was required to allow access to lift the vault and transport it to the ERDF. The test reactor was also located below grade in the bottom of a containment structure. Being highly radioactive, it had to be removed concurrently with its shielding structure as one large monolith.

Special lifting and transportation securement devices had to be designed, fabricated and tested for both the waste vault and test reactor. The 1000-ton loads were then transported to the ERDF. Engineering for the project began in January of 2012 and the final piece was set at the ERDF in February of 2014.