Celebrating Completion of DFLAW Facility Construction
Department of Energy and Hanford officials toured the Hanford vitrification plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility, where facility construction has been completed. The plant is expected to be tested and ready to treat radioactive waste by the end of 2023.
The Vit Plant celebrated completion of all facility construction required to treat low-activity waste under the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste approach this week with the Department of Energy, elected officials and stakeholders.
Project Director Valerie McCain announced that the team has finished all the design and engineering, procurements and construction of the facilities and systems required to vitrify low-activity waste. This includes the Low-Activity Waste Facility, Analytical Laboratory, Effluent Management Facility and 14 support structures.
“I am incredibly proud of our team for this achievement – it’s impressive in any year,” she said. “But in 2020 our team was resilient and completed construction with safety and quality despite the unique challenges we faced.”
She thanked the current team and especially the Central Washington Building Trades, whose men and women built the facilities from the ground up.
She was joined by DOE Deputy Secretary Mark Menezes, Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, and Hanford site Manager Brian Vance. Ecology’s David Bowen and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray shared their congratulations via prerecorded video messages.
With construction done, the team is focused solely on finishing startup testing of all systems and facilities in the LAW Facility and EMF. Already, the Analytical Laboratory and all 14 BOF structures have completed startup testing and been handed over for commissioning with Plant Management.
All Low-Activity Waste Facility Systems Turned Over to Startup
A Vit Plant worker examines process piping installed in the Low-Activity Waste melter bay.
The Vit Plant team completed construction of the 94 systems inside the Low-Activity Waste Facility and turned them all over to the Startup team for testing. Those systems, once tested and commissioned, will together carry out the transformation of nuclear tank waste into a glassified form safe for storage. One system is the container handling equipment. This video shows the testing of how equipment will move containers into place to receive the waste for storage.
Vit Plant Donates More Than $60K to Area Nonprofits
The Hanford Vit Plant team donated $18,000 in toys and cash to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign and $42,000 to other local organizations as part of its year-end giving efforts.
With workers at the jobsite north of Richland and working remotely, Vit Plant employees shopped via an online wishlist, donated online, and dropped toys off at a drive-thru event on December 12. bout $9,000 in toys were donated via the wishlist, more than $6,500 was donated online, and hundreds more toys were collected in December. Bechtel National, Inc. donated an additional $2,500.
To close the year out, the Vit Plant donated $32,000 to 12 other local organizations, such as the Domestic Violence Shelter, 2nd Harvest Food Bank, Yakima County Food Bank, and the Benton Franklin Crisis Center. Read more.
Employees Build Bikes for Tikes
Like many things in 2020, the annual Bikes for Tikes bike build looked very different. On December 4, team members held "micro builds" and built bikes in the garages of WTCC General Manager Rick Holmes and WTCC Deputy General Manager Bruce Covert. UA Local Union 598 Plumbers and Steamfitters continued its tradition of providing bikes to kids who otherwise would not have them through their annual campaign.
In The Details
Featured Photo: Inspecting the Effluent Management Facility
Employees inspect piping in the Effluent Management Facility. Recently, Vit Plant jobsite teams completed the final EMF systems turnover to startup.
Featured Video: 2020 Year-End Accomplishments
The Vit Plant team made tremendous progress despite the obstacles in 2020. Many of those accomplishments are captured in this year-end video with a special message from Project Director Valerie McCain.