Richland, WA,
11:11 AM

Vit Plant Shift Operations Managers Reach Full Qualification

The Vit Plant recognized a significant team achievement recently, when the last of its eight shift operations managers finished a rigorous qualifications process.

“As we close in on operations for the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) Program, it becomes even more critical that our team members achieve and maintain full qualifications,” said Tom Fletcher, Department of Energy EM assistant manager for the Vit Plant Project. “These team members are essential as we move forward with our tank-waste treatment mission.”

The training includes systems and safety classes, drills and many other related qualifications, such as serving as the building director during an emergency. The shift operations managers also demonstrate their knowledge of safe plant operations to lead shift supervisors and technicians during the qualification process.

“The intensive series of training and performance demonstrations can take up to 18 months,” said Rick Holmes, general manager for Waste Treatment Completion Co., a subcontractor to Vit Plant lead Bechtel National Inc. “These managers are the backbone of our operations team, which works 24/7 to run the plant and prepare to immobilize tank waste in glass.”

The DFLAW Program is a system of interdependent projects and infrastructure improvements, managed and highly integrated as a program, that will operate together to immobilize tank waste in glass. During DFLAW operations, waste from Hanford’s large underground tanks that has been treated to remove radioactive cesium and solids will be fed directly to the LAW Facility’s melters. The waste and glass-forming materials will be mixed and heated in the melters, then poured into specially designed stainless-steel containers for permanent disposal at the site’s Integrated Disposal Facility.

The Vit Plant facilities can be viewed using the self-guided Hanford Virtual Tour.

Contact: Staci A. West, 509-378-0308 or

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.