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Pretreatment Facility
The Pretreatment Facility is the first step in the process of vitrifying Hanford’s tank waste. It is the largest of the four major nuclear facilities that compose the WTP measuring 540 feet long and 215 wide. When complete, it will be 12 stories high. Waste will be pumped from the Hanford tanks via underground pipes to the PT Facility’s interior waste feed receipt vessels. There, during the first phase of pretreatment, the waste will be concentrated using an evaporation process. Solids will be filtered out and the remaining soluble, highly radioactive isotopes will be removed using an ion-exchange process. The high-level solids will be sent to the High-Level Waste Vitrification Facility, and the low-activity liquids will be sent to the Low-Activity Waste Vitrification Facility for further processing.