Tooele Fabricates Mercury Containers
January 9, 2013
Tooele Army Depot (TEAD) recently received a contract from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Strategic Materials to fabricate 400 one-metric-ton containers to be completed in fiscal year 2013. The contract is for one base year with four option years at 400 containers per year. A total of 2,000 will be fabricated over a 5-year period. The total value of this contract is approximately $4 million.
In 2006, the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot, located in Nevada, was selected by DLA Strategic Materials as the consolidation location for long-term storage (40 + years) of the Department of Defense stockpile of mercury. The mercury is one of many commodities stored in the National Defense Stockpile, which is managed by DLA Strategic Materials. The stockpile consists of approximately 4,890 tons of commodity-grade, elemental mercury. Currently, the mercury is stored in three-liter flasks and overpacked in air-tight and liquid-tight drums.
To satisfy the terms of an agreement with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, DLA Strategic Materials is transferring the mercury from three-liter steel flasks into new one-metric-ton containers. Prior to relocating the mercury to Hawthorne in 2006, the 40-50 year old flasks were stored in Ohio, Indiana and New Jersey.
The proposed action would result in the generation of hazardous and nonhazardous wastes, but these wastes could be managed safely using existing capabilities and facilities that are considered to be protective of the environment and have sufficient capacity to accommodate the additional material. DLA will determine the ultimate disposal of the empty flasks per existing federal, state, and Department of Defense requirements, in consultation with the State of Nevada.
Due to stringent quality requirements, TEAD's Pilot Model Shop sent personnel to the certification courses for welding, sandblasting and painting inspection.
The first 250 pound container was fabricated in the depot's Manufacturing Facility using the Cincinnati CL840 Laser Cutting Table and modern welding techniques.
The first ten containers are required to be completed in January for testing purposes and the first 100 containers delivered to Hawthorne in March.
"This is non-traditional workload for TEAD, but it has been an excellent partnership with DLA," stated Robert Anderson, Director of Ammunition Equipment. This project will add more than 4500 hours of direct labor to the current workload.