Public Somewhat Uneducated About Vitrification - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Public Somewhat Uneducated About Vitrification

RICHLAND, Wash.- It's making the area safer, but what do residents actually know about vitrification at Hanford.

The process involves mixing radioactive tank waste with a sand, then melting it by running electricity through the mix before letting it settle as a glass.  The solid can then be transported somewhere for safe storage.  But as Hanford is cleaned up, people we talked to feel the Department of Energy needs to do more to educate the public.

"Everybody knows that it's there and that it's the vit plant, but what all it entails, I don't think a lot of people know, you know, what that is," said Charlie Sampair, a Kennewick Resident.   

Betchel's vitrification plant is well under construction, and when it's complete, it'll help DOE meet their 2029 deadline for cleanup of the site.

CH2M Hill is working on a bulk vit plant to help meet the deadline.