Integrated Environmental Services, Inc. (IES)

Integrated Environmental Services, Inc. (IES)

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Our experience and leadership, excellent client relationships and outstanding reputation are our strengths. All of this and more has placed us as one of the most respected environmental firms in the world.

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Technologies for the on-site remediation of high hazard waste.

Technologies for the on-site remediation of high hazard waste.

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IES is an inventor and innovator of the most advanced equipment used in the environmental remediation community. We hold 30 patents related to remediation, reclamation, and processing of high hazard materials.

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Compressed Gas Cylinders

Compressed Gas Cylinders

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Handling waste compressed gas cylinders poses unique hazards and challenges associated with the chemical composition of each gas, the energy of compression, and the capability of a gas to move and flow freely when not contained.

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Process Safety Management

Process Safety Management

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"In response to the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC) standard IES has developed programs designed to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of HHCs.

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Hanford

Remote Access of Radioactive Pellets

handford1Given the unique nature of the project and the specialized expertise maintained by IES, a soul source contract was issued for the remote accessing of two small cylindrical objects each containing highly radioactive capsules and each capsule surrounded by highly reactive elemental sodium (NaK).  Scheduling considerations demanded that the project be designed, tested, and made operational within a compressed time line.  The project schedule was further impacted by the development of plans and procedures as well as meetings with State of Washington regulatory personnel.

To accomplish the project, IES developed two separate operations.  The first involved the remote accessing of the targets at the end points known to contain the majority of the NaK and the subsequent neutralization of that material.  A remote drilling system was attached to IES’s smallest cylinder management device, (the Mark III) handford2which served as both containment and treatment vessel.  Steam was selected as the neutralizing agent. While NaK reacts violently with water, a steam reaction is typically moderate and leaves the material in an inert sodium/potassium hydroxide.

After steam treatment, the Mark III was monitored for pressure build up which would indicate a continuing NaK reaction. The absence of pressure indicated that all of the NaK exposed to atmosphere had been treated.  At that point, the target was transferred to the  NaK Disassembly System (NDS) .

Concerns that not all of the NaK might be reacted by the above procedure necessitated that IES develop the NDS for a second operation.  The second operation allowed the remote access of the casing in which the radioactive capsules were housed while treating any remaining NaK that might be positioned between the capsules and the casing walls.  

The NDS consisted of a remotely operated lathe positioned within a glove box. The glove box served to mitigate chemical and radiological concerns.  Also, the glovebox was capable of being evacuated by an air scrubber and HEPA filter system.   Both the glovebox and the remote action of the lathe were designed and constructed by IES personnel.

The NDS equipment made multiple circumferential cuts in the casing holding the capsules.  Each cut was restricted to a specific cutting depth to maintain the integrity of the uranium capsule.   During the cutting and separation process, the area was sprayed with an atomized water mist to neutralize any remaining NaK. Upon completion of circumferential cutting, the outer casing was removed and, using a long reach tool, the exposed capsule was removed and placed into an awaiting lead pail.  

The NaK was neutralized and three radioactive capsules were removed from each of the targets  without incident

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