Vit Plant Earns Important Cybersecurity Authorization


The Vit Plant received a federal authorization certifying that plant information systems comply with Department of Energy cybersecurity requirements, a necessary step for beginning future direct-feed low-activity waste (DFLAW) treatment operations.

Bechtel National Inc. (BNI) recently took a major step forward when the Vit Plant received a federal authorization certifying that the WTP’s information systems comply with DOE cybersecurity requirements, a necessary step to keep the plant safe during commissioning and operations.

“This authorization helps keep us on a sound path to start treating tank waste under the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste Program in early calendar year 2025,” said Brian Vance, EM Office of River Protection and Richland Operations Office manager. “It demonstrates the plant, personnel and procedures meet or exceed the Department’s cybersecurity requirements for operating nuclear facilities.”

Earning the authorization follows a multiyear effort by BNI and site integration and services contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions to transfer vital plant systems and more than 1,000 BNI computer users to the Hanford network.

“Receiving the authorization is the culmination of a five-year effort by more than 100 plant personnel across multiple departments,” said Jason Stidham, Vit Plant chief information officer for BNI, the prime contractor designing, building and commissioning the plant. “The authorization would not have been possible without the significant teamwork and diligence demonstrated by all involved.”

During direct-feed low-activity waste operations, Hanford tank waste will be heated in large melters and mixed with glass-forming materials in the Vit Plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility. The mixture will then be poured into stainless steel containers and allowed to cool before being disposed of in a special landfill on the Hanford Site called the Integrated Disposal Facility.

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.