Hanford VIT Plant

Hanford Tours - Nuclear Pretreatment Facility

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Pretreatment
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Pretreatment Facility

The Pretreatment Facility is the first step in the process of vitrifying Hanford’s tank waste. It will separate the high-level radioactive waste from the low-activity waste. The Pretreatment Facility is the largest of the four nuclear facilities. It will be approximately one and one-half football fields in length, and more than one field in width. It is 12 stories tall and has 490,000 square feet of total area.

The radioactive waste will be pumped from Hanford’s underground tanks to the Pretreatment Facility’s waste feed receipt vessels. It will then be concentrated by removing water in an evaporation process. The solids will be filtered out and the remaining soluble, highly radioactive isotopes will be removed by an ion exchange process.

The Pretreatment Facility will contain a 406-foot-long hot cell, cesium ion exchange columns, ultra filtration equipment and four black-cell areas.

Once separated, the high-level waste will be transferred to the High-Level Waste Vitrification Facility and the low-activity waste will be transferred to the Low-Activity Waste Vitrification Facility where it will be mixed with glass formers and vitrified.

Pretreatment Construction

  • Building Volume: 13,900,000 cubic feet
  • Tanks: 51 major vessels, approx. 4 million gallons capacity
  • Building Size: 215 feet by 540 feet by 120 feet tall (building primarily at ground level)
  • Plant Output: 12,000-gallon waste receiving and treating capacity

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The Pretreatment Facility is the first step in the process of vitrifying Hanford’s tank waste. It will separate the high-level radioactive waste from the low-activity waste. The Pretreatment Facility is the largest of the four nuclear facilities. It will be approximately one and one-half football fields in length, and more than one field in width. It is 12 stories tall and has 490,000 square feet of total area.

The radioactive waste will be pumped from Hanford’s underground tanks to the Pretreatment Facility’s waste feed receipt vessels. It will then be concentrated by removing water in an evaporation process. The solids will be filtered out and the remaining soluble, highly radioactive isotopes will be removed by an ion exchange process.

The Pretreatment Facility will contain a 406-foot-long hot cell, cesium ion exchange columns, ultra filtration equipment and four black-cell areas.

Once separated, the high-level waste will be transferred to the High-Level Waste Vitrification Facility and the low-activity waste will be transferred to the Low-Activity Waste Vitrification Facility where it will be mixed with glass formers and vitrified.

Pretreatment

Pretreatment

Pretreatment

Hanford