Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association for the project management profession, announced today that Washington River Protection Solutions’ Hanford Double Shell Tank AY-102 Recovery Project in Hanford, Washington has been awarded the 2017 PMI Project of the Year Award.
During the Cold War, Hanford’s nuclear reservation — the most contaminated nuclear waste site in the country — produced weapons-grade plutonium for the United States military. The work left behind 56 million gallons — or 211 million liters — of hazardous waste. In 2012, workers remediating hazardous and radioactive materials discovered that one of the site’s 177 underground storage tanks was leaking nuclear waste into the storage tank’s outer shell. With the site’s close proximity to the Columbia River, there was a risk of nuclear waste being released into the environment.
The AY-102 Recovery Project focused on removing and transferring waste out of the leaking tank to a double-shell tank for safe storage. Washington River Protection Solutions, which had a 15 percent chance of success at the start of the project, completed recovery of the 725,000 gallons of nuclear waste ahead of schedule, allowing them to finish the project early and come in $8.7 million under budget.
“The AY-102 Recovery Project was a highly critical task as a result of the hundreds and thousands of residents living in Hanford, Washington and in close proximity to the Columbia River,” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of Project Management Institute. “Washington River Protection Solutions was able to establish and follow sound project management practices that allowed its challenging and potentially dangerous project to be completed successfully, on time and well within budget. Congratulations to the organization on receiving the well-deserved PMI Project of the Year Award.”
The project’s success was a result of the organization’s strong budget process as well as a planning process that was supported by a comprehensive project schedule and a firm change request process.
Now in its 29th year, PMI’s Project of the Year Award recognizes the large (budgets of $100 million or more) and complex project that best delivers superior performance of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society. This year’s award was presented in Chicago, Illinois as part of PMI’s annual Professional Awards Gala at the organization’s Global Conference 2017.