Vit Plant spends $155M in business services, materials across U.S.
The Hanford Vit Plant awarded more than $155 million in subcontracts to businesses across the United States in Fiscal Year 2016.
RICHLAND, Wash. — The Hanford Vit Plant awarded more than $155 million in subcontracts to businesses across the United States in Fiscal Year 2016 with a growing emphasis on equipment and goods that meet highly specialized requirements for nuclear quality.
As the Vit Plant transitions from construction activities toward startup and commissioning, a larger percent of subcontracts are being awarded to businesses across the country for nuclear-grade equipment and services.
For example, Mississippi State University (MSU) received $3.2 million to conduct tests of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to determine their performance against nuclear industry standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and against Vit Plant-specific requirements. These filters will be used in the plant’s three nuclear processing facilities: Pretreatment, Low-Activity Waste and High-Level Waste facilities.
Bechtel National Inc. is building the plant, also known as the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, which consists of four major nuclear facilities and more than 20 support or infrastructure buildings. The Vit Plant, where operational, will transform much of the 56 million gallons of nuclear waste stored in 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site into solid, stable glass that can be stored permanently and safely.
“Fewer businesses exist today that can meet the stringent nuclear requirements we have for equipment and materials used in the Vit Plant’s nuclear processing facilities,” said Project Director Peggy McCullough. “We’re looking nationally and even internationally for which companies can best meet these requirements.”
Of the $155 million, $98 million was spent in Washington and Oregon with $62 million of that in the Tri-Cities, where the Vit Plant is based. Local businesses provided goods and services such as safety supplies, small tools, electrical supplies and vehicle maintenance.
“Our relationships with small and local businesses remain an important component in fulfilling our mission,” said McCullough. “They’re an important part of the Vit Plant team.”
An example of new work awarded in FY16 to local businesses is a subcontract with Tri-City Industrial for industrial supply products, such as small operating tools, construction equipment and electrical supplies.
Since Bechtel began construction of the Vit Plant, it has spent more than $4 billion in goods and services with companies across the United States. Of that, $1.8 billion has been in Washington and Oregon, with $1.27 billion in the Tri-Cities.
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 the millions of gallons of radioactive liquid waste stored in 177 underground tanks using a process called vitrification. Visit www.hanfordvitplant.com.