Department of Energy – Waste Treatment Plant LAW & HLW Melters – NQA-1


Work Start / Finish: Jan 2006 – Present

Nature and Scope of Work

The Melters (NQA-1 requirements) are the heart of the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (world’s largest chemical-radioactive waste treatment plant) just outside Richland, Washington. 53 million-gallons of radioactive waste will be processed through these melters. The pretreated liquid waste from the tanks will be combined in the melters with glass forming and processing aid chemicals where they will react, melt, dissolve and mix at temperatures of 2100°F (1150°C). The molten (liquid) glass will be poured out of the melters into specially designed containers, allowing the glass to cool (solidify) prior to being shipped and stored in a much safer condition. The melters cannot be turned off once the process has started, and so the reliability of the melters is crucial to the success of cleaning up waste at the site.

Seismic analysis and calculations were run during design stage by the design team. Petersen Inc. fabricated these melters to meet all design criteria using a combination of high temperature structural materials. Metallic components are primarily Inconel and stainless steels with a ceramic refractory liner. Each melter is built on a roller equipped base to facilitate movement into and out of the Hanford waste treatment facility. Acceptance testing involved constructing and installing representative facility rails on our floor to show proper fit and load distribution, as well as maximum weight load testing of each structure. The assembly and testing of these critical nulear material handling units has also been acomplished entirely in house. The physical size and crane capacity built into the Petersen Inc. facilities makes these types of projects possible.

Project Summary

HLW Melter – 30 major components with hundreds of sub assemblies ~ Dimensions:  14’W x 14’L x 15’H.  Total weight of each finished assembly is 90 tons.

LAW Melter – 60 major components with hundreds of subassemblies ~ Dimensions:  21’W x 30’L x 19’H.  The base, walls and lids weigh 150-tons for each of the two assemblies.


Department of Energy – Waste Treatment Plant – Fuel Transfer System – NQA-1

Work Start / Finish:  2002-2003

Nature and Scope of Work

This project consisted of the design, fabrication, assembly, testing, and delivery of two spent nuclear fuel handling systems and their associated spare parts.  The systems were installed in the K-East and K-West storage basins in the 100 area of the Hanford site.

The RFQ provided the initial concept of a rail transfer cart and vertical lift elevator to transport the loaded shielded transfer cask from its below-water loading station in K-East to the truck/trailer, which is then driven to K-west basin for further processing.



Project Summary

All detail design work (including seismic analysis and calculations) was accomplished to interface with the existing facilities dimensions, plumbing, power, load capacities, and DOE

This system included a 21 foot vertical elevator to lift the transfer cask out of a water-filled storage basin. The transfer cask weighed over 20 tons with its spent nuclear fuel payload and required positioning within 0.010 inch true position to accomplish the transfer operations. The elevator used a screw jack system very similar to aircraft lift jacks . The transfer carts used to move these transfer casks in and out of the facility operated on precision wheel systems with redundant control systems to insure safe operation. The rail structures provided over 90 feet of precision aligned travel for these carts to operate on.operational requirements.  The detail design package included development of a complete facility mock-up representing all interfaces to the actual facility that was fabricated and installed in our facility to accomplish the final acceptance testing.  This completed customer approved design package was fabricated and machined in our facility including all material requisitioning, process planning, fabrication, assembly, inspection and verification.  The completed components were assembled into the mock-up using installation procedures developed as part of our efforts to allow for all door opening, ceiling height, crane capacity, floor handling limits, transportation limits, and nuclear safety requirements.  After the assembly was completed and approved, the functional acceptance testing was accomplished to demonstrate compliance with the performance specification and suitability of the equipment for the movement of spent nuclear fuel at Hanford.  Disassembly, packaging, and shipping, as well as installation support at Hanford completed our successful delivery of the fuel transfer system.



Work Start / Finish: 2004 – 2005


Nature and Scope of Work

Pipe Skid Fabrication & Installation on TGU Desulphurization Plant

Project Summary

Collaborated with Ambitech Engineering on the design effort to achieve a system design meeting all customer requirements, then fabricated, assembled, wired, and installed the modules at the desulphurization plant. These large structural assemblies demonstrate Petersen Inc.’s fabrication, assembly, and installation capabilities.


Carbon Towers / Chlorination Vessels – Design Build

Work Start / Finish: 2001 – 2002


Nature and Scope of Work

Using a preliminary design from the customer, Petersen Inc. was to design and build the vessels that are utilized for the processing of silicon crystals at the Mitsubishi state-of-the-art facility near Atlanta, GA.

Project Summary

Design, build, and NDT test units made from carbon steel.  These large jacketed vessels had numerous internal components.

8 ea.

Carbon Towers, built in accordance to ASME section Vlll div.1

These vessels were 72″ ID x 80′ tall, fabricated from SA516-70 carbon steel.

3 ea.

Chlorination Reactors, built in accordance to ASME section Vlll div.1

These vessels were 94″ ID upper section x 62″ ID lower section x 31′ tall, fabricated from SA516-70 carbon steel.


Ten Drum Over Pack – NQA-1

Work Start / Finish: 7-17-06 – Present  (have produced these for WTS since 10-12-00)

FabricationKeyProjects10Nature and Scope of Work

This project (whose end user is the DOE Complex) involves the manufacturing of thousands of these containers for multiple customers and multiple D.O.E. sites/labs across the country.  The container is used as an overpack containment, transport and storage of low level nuclear waste.  The TDOP is a 6′ diameter X 6′ high cylinder (container) made from ASTM A36 carbon steel, and is manufactured under NQA-1 specifications.

Project Summary

The manufacturing process includes; shearing, rolling, forming, flanging, welding, machining, powder coat, paint and assembly.  The unit itself has a bolt-on lid that requires tight tolerances to maintain proper alignment with the body.  Due to the quantities being built, Petersen Inc. has built dedicated facilities with dedicated lines containing specialized tooling to support higher efficiency, repeatability and quality.  Petersen Inc. is the only company able to manufacture this product in high volume, currently capable of producing 8 finished TDOP’s every 10-hour shift.

Plat Splitter Vertical Column – Design Build

Work Start / Finish: October 2008 – January 2010

FabricationKeyProjects11Nature and Scope of Work

Designed (from customer provided design concept drawings) and built ASME Section VIII Pressure Vessel.

Project Summary

This vessel was designed and built at Petersen Inc. to ASME Div. VIII standards. The vessel itself was 11 ft. diameter at the base and 9′ diameter at the top x 187′ long. Vessel was built in three sections, assembled, hydrostatically tested, and then cut apart and shipped in the three original sections.


Construction Tunneling Services (CTS)

Work Start / Finish: 2000-2001

fabrication projects

Nature and Scope of Work

Retrofit and built Tunnel Boring Machine (24′ dia. x 300′ length – 750,000 lbs.)  Petersen’s scope included all aspects incorporating design, retrofit, fabrication, machining, assembly, test, disassembly, packaging, and shipment to Detroit for the Detroit River Project.  This project went without problems, although it was challenging. The cutter head alone weighed 76-tons and was manufactured complete by Petersen Inc. This project was completed in the Petersen Inc. heavy fabrication facility, all indoor and under 75-ton capacity.  This was the third tunnel boring machine Petersen Inc. successfully delivered.