Projects & Facilities
224-T Facility

 

Located in the 200-West Area of Hanford adjacent to the T-Plant (also known as the 221-T Canyon Building) is the 224-T Facility.  Originally constructed in 1944 and designated as the 224-T Bulk Reduction Building, the facility was used as part of the T-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 T-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 within the fuel rod during the nuclear chain reaction.

224-T
224-T

The main function of the 224-T Facility was to purify and concentrate the plutonium recovered from that plutonium nitrate slurry after it came out of the T-Plant.  Plutonium concentration operations were performed in conjunction with T-Plant separation activities from January, 1945, until early in 1956.  That was when the methods used in the T-Plant to dissolve away the fuel rods were replaced by more efficient processes.  As a result, 224-T was idle until 1975.  In 1975, 224-T was modified to meet requirements for storing plutonium-bearing scraps and liquids.  In 1985, a section of 224-T became the Transuranic Waste Storage and Assay Facility (TRUSAF) and operated in that capacity until the late 1990’s. 

Today, the only activity at the 224-T 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