Richland, Wash.,
08:34 AM

Hanford Vit Plant reaches Low-Activity Waste Facility contract milestone for completion of bulk electrical cable

About 210 miles of electrical infrastructure when facility completes in 2018

RICHLAND, Wash. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of River Protection (ORP) and contractor Bechtel National Inc., (BNI) announced today that construction crews completed a contract milestone for electrical work in the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP). The contract milestone, called ‘bulk cable electrical installations,’ was completed nearly four months ahead of schedule. Completion of this milestone is a major step toward completing full construction of the LAW Facility structure.

“This accomplishment included balancing a complex design, purchasing quality materials to the right specifications, skilled planning to execute the construction work, and quality craftsmanship in the field,” said Brian Reilly, BNI project director for the WTP Project. “This milestone sets the stage for our workforce to meet the LAW physical plant complete contract milestone of June 2018.”

The LAW Facility includes more than 1.1 million linear feet of electrical raceway, cables, and wiring. That’s enough combined electrical infrastructure to span 840 laps around an Olympic-sized track or about 210 miles.

“Completing the electrical cable work is significant,” said Bill Hamel, WTP federal project director for ORP. “The milestone for bulk cable installation, referred to as “wire pulls”, required BNI to complete installation of all scheduled power, control, instrumentation, and fiber optic cables, including all cable tray and raceway systems.”

DOE’s Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) approach will enable treatment of low-activity waste as soon as the LAW Facility, relevant support facilities, and the WTP Analytical Laboratory (LAB), are operational in advance of completion of the entire WTP as was originally planned. This will allow DOE to vitrify low-activity waste as soon as December 2021 and will provide valuable operating experience that will be beneficial for overall WTP operations. The LAB is 98 percent complete, and the collection of more than 20 support facilities are largely complete – some portions of both the LAB and support facilities are undergoing systems testing and startup activities.

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