March 29, 2022
Staff Accomplishment

Fabrication of New Radioactive Material Transportation Packaging Under Way

PNNL team works to assure radioactive materials are shipped safely and securely

Radioactive Material Transportation Packaging Units

Fabricated DPP-3 packaging components designed by staff at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

(Photo: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Congratulations to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) project team working as the design agency for a new radioactive material transportation package. The team realized the fruits of its hard work with completion of two interim milestones: (1) delivery of the Defense Program Package-3 (DPP-3) Safety Analysis Report for Packaging (SARP) for review and (2) the recent fabrication of an initial batch of DPP-3 units by a vendor in Spokane, Washington.

The DPP-3 is a flexible package that will replace the current DT-series packages to ship radioactive materials safely and securely. In 2014, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Packaging and Transportation (OPT) and the Office of Infrastructure Operations & Modernization awarded the DPP-3 project to PNNL as the design agency.

Since then, the team has been working to design the packaging, fabricate test units, perform regulatory testing, and produce the SARP for review, approval, and certification. Regulatory testing was completed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s National Transportation Research Center in 2020. The SARP was completed in 2021, and the team is now working through the independent review process with the OPT Transportation Safety Review Panel. The successful completion of the regulatory testing allowed PNNL to initiate the production of DPP-3 units before certification of the SARP, so the first batches of DPP-3 production units were fabricated this year by Wagstaff, Inc., in Spokane. After inspection, the packaging components will be shipped to the Y-12 National Security Complex for use.

The team faced and overcame a number of challenges during this project’s lifetime. Package specifications changed and more recently, the pandemic affected workplace access and the supply chain for production materials.

“I am fortunate in working with this amazing team. The expertise this team has and has continued to develop over the years, both in technical subject matter and project support, is key to PNNL’s first success as a design agency for NNSA,” said Elizabeth Golovich, DPP-3 project manager.

The main DPP-3 team members are: Harold Adkins, Nate Barrett, Glenn Fallucca, Jim Fort, Elizabeth Golovich, Aron Gorham, Laurie Hay, Brian Hom, Carrie Jordan, Brian Koeppel, Michelle Kubik, Diana Love, Lucas Mackey, Coryann Newsom, Nate Phillips, Dana Ruane, Pete Sakalaukus, Tony Savino, Randy Schwarz, Liz Smith, Sarah Suffield, and Emily Wilson. Many other current and former staff members provided valuable support to the DPP-3 project, including: Tom Brewer, Brian Collins, Jim Davis, Bill Dey, Patrick Ferrell, Kevin Grubbs, Kriste Henson, Danelle Herr, Brent Hicks, Alice Lewis, Zach Luther, Jennifer Lyons, Cyndi Marcotte, Dave Mayo, Phil Schonewill, Julie Snelling, Randall Storms, Russell Swannack, Zach Weems, Beric Wells, Daniel Wentz, and Colleen Winters.