07:03 AM

Vit Plant hands over first building for commissioning

The Hanford Vit Plant passed a major landmark last month toward completion when the first building was transferred to plant management for commissioning, the last step before beginning vitrification of Hanford tank waste.

While dozens of systems have been turned over from construction to startup across the project, the handover of the Non-Radioactive Liquid Waste Disposal System (NLD) marks the first transfer of an entire building for commissioning. 

“This occasion reinforces the progress being made at the Vit Plant and progress toward successfully demonstrating hot commissioning by 2022,” said Brian Reilly, Vit Plant project director for Bechtel National, Inc. 

The NLD system consists of sumps, pumps, pipes, valves, and instruments, and a 540,000-gallon tank, all of which are designed to collect non-radioactive, non-hazardous effluent from the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility, Analytical Laboratory, and other ancillary support facilities. 

NLD is one of many facilities required to achieve the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste approach to feed waste directly from the Hanford tank farms to the LAW Facility in advance of the court-ordered milestone date of 2023. 

“We are continuing to make the shift from construction to startup on many of our systems and facilities,” said Delmar Noyes, Department of Energy's Office of River Protection assistant manager for Vit Plant startup and commissioning. “The transfer of the NLD system to commissioning is another great example of that.”

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