CHPRC Cleans Up Hanford

Even for the largest companies working on some of the world's largest and most expensive projects, success can be found in the smallest of details.

CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company has the massive task of cleaning up the 586 square mile Hanford Site's Central Plateau, an area famous for the Manhattan Project in the 1940s but currently one of the world's largest environmental clean up projects.

Contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy, CHPRC was awarded the $4.5 billion project, funded through the DOE's Office of Environmental Management.

The 10-year clean up effort will include the deactivation, decontamination, decommissioning and demolition of 1,442 facilities and structures, including placing two reactors into interim safe storage.

One of the primary focuses of this project is cleanup of the contaminated groundwater. "CHPRC will also perform the remediation of six burial grounds and 11 groundwater systems, treatment of more than 40 metres of sludge and the disposition of 6,200 metres of transuranic waste, 800 spent nuclear fuel containers and 2,100 metric tonnes of spent nuclear fuel," said Edward Rafuse, a buyer and technical representative for CHPRC.

It's the world's largest environmental cleanup project, and the small but extremely durable Crystal Cam from Inuktun Services Limited plays a role.

"We manage, monitor and treat groundwater drill wells for containments on the Hanford Site," said CHPRC's Paul Lodder, adding that his team became aware of Inuktun through a co-worker familiar with the products. "The cameras are used to check the integrity of the wells during and after well-drilling events."

The cameras are also used for maintenance and problem discoveries that may arise with well drilling.

As expensive as the clean up project is, the low cost Crystal Cam is a unique high-performance waterproof micro video camera that is compact, lightweight and extremely durable. The camera head is completely encased in transparent epoxy making it virtually indestructible operating in the most confined spaces, hazardous areas and to depths of 300 m / 1000 ft. Its applications include internal inspection of pipe, tank and well inspections and confined space inspections among others.

Those attributes lend the Crystal Cam perfectly to CHPRC applications of groundwater monitoring and well drilling, as well as project goals of reducing risk to workers, the public and the environment while at the same time protecting the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest.

Headquartered in Denver, the employee-owned CH2M Hill is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction and management. With $5.8 billion in revenue and 25,000 employees, CH2M Hill is recognized by Forbes Fortune magazine as one of the best 100 companies to work for in America.

Canadian-based Inuktun Services is an industry leading designer and manufacturer of modular, mobile robotic systems and system components for use in hazardous areas, confined spaces and underwater applications throughout the world. For more information, call 1-800-468-5886 or visit


Priscilla Johnson

Since 1989, Inuktun Services Ltd. has been designing and building remotely operated systems that bridge the gap between people and the physical world, helping clients reach the unreachable and see the unseen. Whether you are working in a hazardous area, deep underwater, or in extremely confined spaces, Inuktun’s lineup of modular robotic crawlers and cameras make it possible to perform inspection and remote handling jobs safely and efficiently. And, the Inuktun Multi-Mission Modular (IM3) technology developed by Inuktun means systems can be quickly adapted for different purposes.