The Hanford Site is a 586-square-mile complex in the desert of southeastern Washington State. It is home to nine former nuclear reactors and their associated processing facilities that were built beginning in 1943. From 1944 until 1987, the reactors were used to produce plutonium, a man-made, radioactive, chemical element that was needed for atomic weapons associated with America’s defense program during World War II and throughout the Cold War.
Today, workers across the Hanford Site are involved in an environmental cleanup project of immense proportions, necessitated by the processes required to transform raw uranium into plutonium for bombs. These processes generated billions of gallons of liquid waste and millions of tons of solid waste that must now be cleaned up, removed or remediated.
An important part of this overall clean-up effort, the Vit Plant will safely process and remediate the 56 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste that remain in tanks on the Hanford Site. Over the years, the WTP Project has evolved considerably. To learn more about the history of the Hanford Site and the WTP Project, visit this page.