Richland, Wash.,
13:09 PM

Hanford Receives First Delivery of Glass Materials for Waste Vitrification

Glass Former Silo

Local contractor Two Rivers Terminal recently made its first delivery of materials that will be used to immobilize Hanford Site underground tank waste in glass for disposal to the Vit Plant.

EM Office of River Protection (ORP) prime contractor Bechtel National, Inc. awarded a contract to Two Rivers Terminal of Pasco, Washington to source, import, store, and deliver materials that will be used in the glass-forming, or vitrification, process as part of the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) Program.

The DFLAW program is a system of interdependent projects and infrastructure improvements, managed and highly integrated, that must operate together to vitrify the waste. During vitrification, the contaminated waste and glass-forming materials are mixed and heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit inside one of two large melters in the Low-Activity Waste Facility, then poured into stainless steel containers for safe storage.

“We look forward to continuing to work with local businesses like Two Rivers Terminal,” Bechtel Senior Vice President and Vit Plant Project Director Valerie McCain said. “Contracts like these present opportunities for local businesses to join the collective Hanford team as we near melter heatup during plant commissioning and complete our shift from construction to operations.”

The first delivery of a glass-forming material was lithium carbonate, an industrial chemical used in processes such as manufacturing lithium ion batteries. Other materials used in vitrification are varied, consisting of multiple silicate compounds and other chemicals — and even sucrose, more commonly known as sugar. Silica will be the major compound used in the process. The initial material delivered will be used in the process of starting up and tuning the first melter later this year.

Two Rivers Terminal will source the glass-forming materials domestically and internationally, with about half of the materials coming from locations around the U.S. The contractor will be required to keep a three-month supply available.

“This contract is a great opportunity for a local company to be involved with the treatment of Hanford tank waste for years to come,” Two Rivers Terminal General Manager Steve Peot said. “It’s our opportunity to be a part of Tri-Cities history.”

Before delivering the materials to the Vit Plant, Two Rivers Terminal will work with another local business, Mukang Labs in Pasco, to ensure the materials meet quality specifications for vitrification. Mukang Labs will sample and analyze the material and coordinate results with Bechtel.

“Receiving this material is an important step that brings us one step closer to realizing our mission to bring the DFLAW Program together and begin treating tank waste,” said Mat Irwin, ORP deputy assistant manager for the plant.

Founded in Pasco in 2003, Two Rivers Terminal is a fertilizer and chemical formulator, distributor, and importer that serves agricultural and industrial businesses. The company has grown beyond the Tri-Cities to include other locations in Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as international offices overseas. Two Rivers Terminal previously supported the 200 West Groundwater Treatment Project at Hanford.

Contact: Staci A. West, 509-378-0308 or

About Bechtel National, Inc.:

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place. Bechtel serves the Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.