Projects & Facilities
224-B Facility

 

Located adjacent to the B-Plant (which is also known as the 221-B Canyon Building) is the 224-B Facility.  The building is in the northwest part of the 200-East Area of Hanford, and was used as part of the B-Plant’s process to extract plutonium from uranium fuel rods which had been irradiated in one of Hanford’s nuclear reactors.

Processing facilities like the B-Plant would take these irradiated fuel rods and put them through a series of chemical “baths”.  The chemicals would dissolve away the fuel rods, turning the metal into a liquid form called “slurry”.  Included in the slurry was the trace amount of plutonium that had been produced in the fuel rod during the nuclear chain reaction.

224-B
224-B

The main function of the 224-B Facility was to purify and concentrate the plutonium recovered from that slurry after it came out of the B-Plant.  Plutonium concentration operations were performed in conjunction with B-Plant separation activities from 1945 until 1952.  After that, the methods used in the B-Plant to dissolve away the fuel rods were replaced by more efficient processes and 224-B was deactivated. 

The facility was permanently deactivated during 1985-1986 and it has been unoccupied in a surveillance and maintenance mode since 1993.  Today, the only activity at the 224-B Facility is routine surveillance and maintenance which is done to confine any hazardous materials within the building until the structure can be safely decontaminated and demolished.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated 01/26/2014 2:23 PM