Hanford Site announces project completion at Vitrification Plant

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Vitrification Plant at the Hanford Site reached a milestone, just before the end of 2020.

“We have completed construction of the Low Activity Waste Facility, the Analytical Laboratory, the DFLAW Management Facility and fourteen support structures,” Valerie McCain with Bechtel said.

“We can and we will finish the race,” Mike Menezes with the Department of Energy added.

Officials held a virtual opening ceremony today to congratulate the hard work of contractors over the decades. They also played pre-recorded messages from state figures like Senator Maria Cantwell.

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“This has been 18 years in the making and it took over 2.3 million craft hours to build, with this building completed and the coming efforts of the next two years we are one step closer to processing 90 percent of the underground waste that is stored at Hanford”

The next big step?

Officials said they hope to start up the first melter by the end of 2021. This device will take the mixed, low activity waste and melt it into glass for storage.

“I look forward with optimism to the bright and prosperous future that together we can build in the new year and beyond,” Brian Vance with the D.O.E. said.

Now that construction for the Low Activity Waste Facility is complete, Vance said they’ll move into the commission phase.

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“I’m confident that the team work and commitment to excellence that has made today possible, will continue to ensure the progress as we go forward,” he said.

To learn more about the Vit Plant, visit their website.