Challenge. Integrate modeling and risk assessments to support decision making by multiple contractors and regulators on the largest environmental restoration project in the United States

Solution. INTERA is providing modeling, risk assessment, and data analyses services to support the environmental cleanup of the Central Plateau area of the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford Site. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, the Hanford Site included nine nuclear reactors along the Columbia River and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the more than 60,000 weapons in the United States nuclear arsenal. As a result of past safety procedures and waste disposal practices, operations at Hanford released large amounts of radioactive materials and other contaminants into the air, soils, groundwater, and the Columbia River. Today, it is the site of the largest environmental cleanup project in the United States. INTERA is a key teaming partner working under the Central Plateau Cleanup Contract—an Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity contract with a maximum ceiling value of $10 billion and a 10-year period of performance. The contract scope includes conducting facility deactivation, decommissioning, decontamination, and demolition activities; waste site remediation; transuranic waste management; and developing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) / Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) decision documents to support cleanup actions associated with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement). INTERA develops and applies numerical models and other decision support tools that are helping define preliminary remediation goals; evaluate, design, and optimize remediation systems; identify additional site characterization data needs; and communicate site risks to stakeholders. We make major contributions to decision documents developed under CERCLA, RCRA, and DOE Order 435.1. We also develop tools and prepare web-delivered annual reports for the groundwater monitoring system and the pump-and-treat operations that allow stakeholders to query underlying data, create charts and geologic cross sections, and rapidly display complex analyses information.

Results. INTERA’s ability to develop and apply high-quality risk-informed decision support tools is being recognized by DOE’s Richland Operations Office and Office of River Protection, regulators, and other major site contractors, as one of the keys to building consensus among all project stakeholders. We have consistently delivered services and work products in accordance with established schedules and budgets and made significant contributions toward meeting nearly every Tri-Party Agreement milestone specified in the prior and current contracts.