09:59 AM

Visit world's largest vitrification facility - virtually


The public can now take a virtual tour of the most advanced nuclear processing facilities built to solidify radioactive waste in glass.

The public can now see inside the world’s most advanced nuclear processing facilities built to solidify radioactive waste in glass (vitrification) by taking a virtual tour of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant.

The Vit Plant Virtual Tour is a 360-degree online interactive tour that offers the public a chance to better understand the considerable undertaking of Bechtel and URS employees in building this one-of-a-kind complex. 

Virtually visit the active construction site, the nuclear processing facilities and their support structures and go inside the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Vitrification Facility at http://www.hanfordvitplant.com/virtual-tour/.

The public can peek inside the Vit Plant even as construction continues.

The Vitrification Process Virtual Tour

The tour begins with views of the Hanford Site and the Vit Plant facilities. It also showcases the inside of the LAW Facility, including its two waste melters that are the largest in the world, its process cells and the components of its exhaust treatment system.

The tour also highlights the many support structures being built on the 65-acre construction site. Each tour stop includes information on the facilities, their components and their role in the vitrification process.

Vitrification is the process of mixing liquid radioactive waste with glass-forming materials and heating them in a high-temperature melter. This “liquid glass” is poured into stainless steel containers to cool before being disposed of permanently and safely. 

Two 300-ton melters will be used in the LAW Facility to vitrify up to 80 percent of the 56 million gallons of hazardous waste currently stored in underground tanks at the Hanford Site.

The Vit Plant will start processing low-activity waste as soon as 2022, followed by full plant operation, including high-level waste processing, in 2036.