Vit Plant achieves first contract milestone of 2017 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Vit Plant achieves first contract milestone of 2017

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RICHLAND, WA – Bechtel National Inc. (BNI) achieved its first contract milestone of 2017 when employees completed installation of the caustic scrubber, a 19-ton piece of vitrification melter offgas exhaust equipment, in the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), also known as the Vit Plant.

The caustic scrubber was the final piece of a system that will treat LAW Facility exhaust to ensure it meets air quality requirements. With the caustic scrubber’s installation, work crews can complete the subsequent work of installing the remainder of plant items and equipment in the LAW Facility.

“Not just meeting – but in fact beating – our first contract milestone of the year is an example of our commitment to ensuring we are ready to receive low-activity waste for vitrification as soon as 2022,” said Peggy McCullough, BNI project director for the WTP Project.

Three interim contract milestones remain to meet the LAW Facility construction completion contract milestone: completing assembly of both 300-ton melters and the installation of bulk electrical cable remaining near the offgas equipment. BNI is on schedule to meet those interim contract milestones in the first quarter of 2018. A multi-year startup, testing and commissioning process will follow. The LAW Facility will produce about 30 tons of vitrified glass a day when fully operational.

“It is very rewarding to see the continued progress we are making toward completing the LAW Facility construction,” said Bill Hamel, WTP Federal Project Director for the Department of Energy Office of River Protection.

Other components of the LAW Facility offgas treatment system, including the thermal catalytic oxidizer and ammonia dilution skid, can be seen in the Vit Plant Virtual Tour.