In 2011, the WTP Project reached more than 60 percent complete. The WTP is a first-of-a-kind facility is being designed and constructed to immobilize millions of gallons of radioactive and chemical waste. The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Bechtel National, Inc. with principal subcontractor Washington Group, to design and build a nuclear waste treatment facility to convert the radioactive liquid waste to solid glass - a process called vitrification. Vitrifying hazardous waste is necessary to isolate it from the environment and to protect the nearby Columbia River.Many of the challenges being overcome at the WTP have never been addressed anywhere in the world.
WTP lifted a nearly 100-ton carbon bed adsorber into the Low-Activity Waste Facility. This key piece of air-filtration equipment will remove mercury and acidic gases before air is channeled through the thermal catalytic oxidizer, which will remove organics and nitrous oxide.
Crews at WTP placed a 19-ton piping module inside the Pretreatment Facility. The module was lifted over 98-foot walls and lowered into a space that provided less than two inches of clearance on each side and just a few feet on each end. It was set 56 feet above the ground. The module was pre-assembled by union pipefitters on a temporary steel structure outside the facility. It is the first and smallest of 13 such modules; the remaining 12 will be placed in the next few years.