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2012 PMI Project of the Year Award Finalist: Lab On the Move

by Keith Jackson II

Securing buy-in from a lone stakeholder group can be difficult enough, but when Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (Richland, Washington, USA), launched a project, which was a 2012 PMI Project of the Year finalist, to move its facilities, it had to engage three high-profile government stakeholders and its own staff of scientists. This article discusses how the company moved a laboratory without disrupting its cutting-edge work for some high-profile government agencies.

2012 PMI Project of the Year Award Wi nner: Defying the Odds

by Keith Jackson II

Holding more than 220,000 aging and decaying weapons containing 7.4 million pounds (34 million kilograms) of VX, sarin and mustard gases, the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (Hermiston, OR, USA) could be a dangerous place. This article discusses how the project team at the Umatilla facility safely destroyed the stockpile by a disarmament treaty deadline of 29 April 2012. This effort, which received the PMI 2012 Project of the Year award, was accomplished with the help of engineering firm URS Corporation (Hermiston, OR, USA). The article details how the project team reduced the significant risks inherent to dealing with such volatile weapons and chemicals, especially the risks of sarin gas and VX nerve agent polluting the surrounding environment or a munitions fire scorching the landscape. It overviews how the safety aspects were addressed, noting that an Operational Readiness Review board was established to ensure the site had the systems and processes to safely process the weapons in compliance with regulations.

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