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Concrete walls complete for Vit Plant support building

Building will process secondary liquids from vitrification operations

Bechtel National Inc. announced today that workers at Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), or Vit Plant, have completed the structural concrete foundation and wall placements for an effluent management facility. The building will support the Department of Energy’s plans to begin treating radioactive tank waste through its Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) vitrification approach.

Building concrete work began last year and has included more than 990 tons of reinforcing steel bar, 147 tons of embeds, and 7,465 cubic yards of high-strength concrete so far.

“Finishing the effluent management facility main concrete foundation and walls is another sign of progress toward DFLAW completion,” said Brian Reilly, a Bechtel senior vice president and BNI project director for the WTP Project. “Once the topping slab and protective floor coatings are complete, the next key steps are to receive the necessary permit authorization and begin installing process equipment and piping racks inside the building.”

The effluent management facility works along with robust underground double-walled transfer pipes as part of the WTP Balance of Facilities (BOF) support infrastructure to concentrate secondary effluents generated during treatment of the off-gas from the Low-Activity Waste Facility melter.

“Working towards completing Balance of Facilities construction will support overall plant startup and commissioning efforts,” said Jason Young, the BOF Federal Project director for the DOE’s Office of River Protection. “So far, we have completed the construction and startup testing phases for more than 25 percent of the BOF support systems.”

DOE’s DFLAW approach will enable treatment of low-activity waste as soon as the Low-Activity Waste Facility, relevant support facilities, and the WTP Analytical Laboratory (LAB), are operational before completing the entire WTP as was originally planned. This will allow DOE to vitrify low-activity waste and will provide valuable operating experience that will be beneficial for overall WTP operations.

About the Office of River Protection

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in southeast Washington state is home to 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste stored in underground tanks – the result of more than four decades of plutonium production. The Office of River Protection (ORP) is responsible for the retrieval, treatment, and disposal of this waste in a safe, effi­cient manner. The River Protection Project is the largest and most complex environmental remediation project in the nation.

About Bechtel

Bechtel is designing and building the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state. The Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, will immobilize some of the chemical and radioactive waste stored in 177 underground tanks using a process called vitrification. Visit