Tag Archives: Water

DOE to delay new cost, schedule for vit plant over corrosion concerns

The Department of Energy will delay coming up with a new cost and schedule for Hanford’s huge vitrification plant after a technical panel agreed with an employee that erosion and corrosion within the plant must be addressed.

David Huizenga, DOE’s senior adviser for environmental management, made the announcement today in a national media call after congressional leaders were briefed this morning.

Resolving technical issues, including how to keep radioactive waste well mixed and to prevent erosion and corrosion within the plant, is expected to take more than a year and cost tens of millions of dollars, Huizenga said.

The testing is intended to give additional confidence that the Waste Treatment Plant can operate for the full 40 years planned to treat up to 56 million gallons of radioactive waste for disposal, Huizenga said.

The waste, held in underground tanks, is left from the past production of plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

“We’re trying to address technical issues head on and realistically,” Huizenga said.

By acknowledging issues now, the plant will not end up with unanticipated costs and maintenance issues in the future, he said.

Now the plant is legally required to start operating in 2019 and is projected to cost $12.2 billion, but DOE will not be able to finish it by then and at that price.

DOE had instructed its contractor Bechtel National in February to propose a new cost and schedule for the vitrification plant, which was due in August.

But with technical questions to be addressed for parts of the plant that will handle large quantities of high level radioactive waste, Bechtel will proceed only with a cost and schedule revision for the plant’s Low Level Waste Facility, the Analytical Laboratory and about 20 support facilities.

When testing is finished, it then can address additional cost and schedule information for the vit plant’s High Level Waste Facility and Pretreatment Facility.

Those two buildings have areas called “black cells,” that will be too radioactively hot for workers to safely enter after the plant begins operating for maintenance or to make repairs.

Construction at those facilities already has been ramped down and no further layoffs are anticipated.

Don Alexander, a DOE scientist, raised questions regarding erosion and corrosion in piping and tanks in black cells within the plant in September in a Difference of Professional Opinion report, disagreeing with scientific opinion accepted by DOE.

It was the third set of issues he’d raised in an ongoing Difference of Professional Opinion.

DOE addressed his concerns with a panel of technical experts that concluded his concerns are legitimate, and now DOE is planning testing that will be done in conjunction with already planned mixing testing to resolve them, Huizenga said.

“I think this demonstrates if people raise issues, we are willing to make tough decisions to address them,” Huizenga said.

24-Inch Water Pipe Burst Closes Dallas Street

A water main break in Dallas released enough water to stop traffic and close one street for at least a day.

The 24-inch water pipeline burst on Beckley Avenue, under the Commerce Street Bridge.

“The possibilities of the failure could be corrosion, electrolysis that occurs there, it could be ground shift,” explained Randy Payton, with Dallas Water Utilities.

According to Payton, each year Dallas spends about $100 million on pipe replacement.

“Dallas has an aggressive approach in replacing its pipelines annually,” he said.

It’s expected to take a full day, up to 20 hours, to repair or replace the pipe.

There are some 5,000 miles of pipeline running through the city of Dallas.

Payton said it’s unusual for larger pipes to break and that the 24-inch pipe on Beckley is, “…a reliable pipe. Generally, like I said, it only fails once or twice a year — throughout the system.”

The large size of the burst pipe will require more manpower to repair/replace it.

SOURCE: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/06/06/24-inch-water-pipe-burst-closes-dallas-street/

Corrosion at root of water line failure

Amarillo — A tiny crack led to a big blowout of the pipeline carrying half the city’s water supply.

About 2 million gallons of water started gushing up to 50 feet in the air because the Carson County Wellfield transmission pipeline had corroded from the outside in.

“It was real obvious when we cut into it,” said Director of Utilities Emmett Autrey. “A microcrack in the cement layer on the outside had let in air and moisture over the years. That water only had to go through 1 inch of cement.”

The pipe consists of a cement layer inside a steel pipe that is wrapped with steel cable and coated with cement.

“On one edge all the thickness of the steel was there,” Autrey said. “Ten inches away, there was paper-thin, rusty metal. It was almost like looking through a fish net.”

When the cable, the last line of defense, also corroded, the pipe opened up on the side of Texas Highway 136 just northeast of the city.

The crack could have happened during the manufacturing process or installation, said City Manager Jarrett Atkinson, but the exact cause is unclear.

“Does it mean we have to be careful and watch it? Yes,” he said. “And if we see an increase in frequency, we’ll look closer, but we’ve only had three failures of this nature on the entire pipeline.”

Because the 45-inch-wide pipe is no longer a standard size, the city is having four sections made to have on hand.

“Despite how big an issue it was when it happened, our standard response has to be to be prepared,” Atkinson said. “Most important will be to have the interconnect that will be the ultimate safety valve.”

The interconnect will run between the Carson County line and the transmission line from the new Potter County Wellfield that is set for completion in November. It will allow the city to send water from one pipeline to another in case of a failure in one, keeping the water flowing.

The cost of repairs, which took just more than two days including disinfecting and testing is unknown at this time.

SOURCE: http://amarillo.com/news/2011-08-30/corrosion-root-aug-21-water-line-failure#.Tl4uRHMf-NE

Illinois American Water continues its pipeline replacement program – Aging Infrastructure

The barricades are coming down on Illinois 159 at the Swansea-Belleville  border as Illinois American Water completes the first phase of its $1.6 million water  main replacement and corrosion project.

About  700 feet of 8-inch water main dating from 1958 was replaced at a cost of about $325,000.

The replacement program focuses on replacing mains where leaks occur,  corrosion has caused damage or the size of the pipe isn’t sufficient.

Work on the $1.6 million project is starting up in other parts of the  metro-east as 1.8 miles of two-inch water mains are replaced with six-inch and  eight-inch mains.

The replacement will enhance water quality and water pressure, as well as  fire protection, the company said. The main replacement projects kicked off in  May with the replacement of about 800 feet of water main on Fahey Place in Belleville.

“Water mains are critical to the delivery of water for use by residents,  businesses, manufacturers and fire fighters,” said Grant Evitts, operations  manager for Illinois American’s Interurban District. “While this infrastructure  is underground and out of sight, it is easy to take it for granted, but at  Illinois American Water, we continue to invest to ensure reliability.”

“The age of the pipes coupled with corrosion and sediment accumulation over  the years makes the replacements necessary,” Evitts said. “Illinois American  Water continues to invest annually in its systems to ensure that local water  quality and service continues to be as good as or better than local, state and  federal quality standards.”

SOURCE: http://www.bnd.com/2011/06/14/1747648/barricades-on-illinois-159-in.html#ixzz1PFYN2h7E