14:30 PM

Permanent power reaches Low-Activity Waste Facility

Startup activities at the Hanford Vit Plant received a boost when employees safely brought permanent power to the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility’s switchgear building.

Startup employees energized the main LAW switchgear and transformers in mid-March. Electrical power will be sent sequentially to the lower voltage motor control centers and panels throughout the LAW as startup testing of electrical systems occurs over the next several months.

“Providing permanent power to the facility is a significant accomplishment and marks a change in methodology at the LAW Facility,” said Roy Tyrie, project Startup director. “It’s symbolic of a change from construction to startup and kicks off a waterfall of startup work in the LAW, including testing the permanent plant equipment in the facility.”

Full energization of LAW will be no small feat considering the facility includes more than 1.1 million linear feet of electrical raceway, cables, and wiring.

The LAW Facility is an integral component of the Department of Energy’s Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste approach and is on track to reach physical plant completion in mid-2018. When fully operational, the facility will annually produce approximately 1,100 containers of vitrified waste.