RICHLAND, Wash.- CH2M Hill's pilot plant at Hanford will work in much the same way as Bechtel's currently under construction, but handles low activity waste instead.
The project allows researchers to test the vitrification process before investing millions in a permanent plant.
Nearly 80 percent of the waste in Hanford's tanks is considered low activity, and the pilot project will process 300,000 of that more than 40 million gallons of waste.
Though the high level plant is already under construction, the pilot plant is considered revolutionary.
"This design which is being completed under a research development and demonstration permit, is the first of it's kind application of this technology for treatment of low activity waste," said P.K. Brockman, Vice President of Project Delivery at CH2M Hill.
Though the design is finished, it still has to be approved by an outside panel of experts, then construction can begin.
It's expected to be done in about two years.
If the pilot project is a success, a new plant will be built to take care of another 25 million gallons of waste.