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Projects & Facilities

Canyon Facilities

Photo of the Reduction Oxidation Plant - Circa 2022
One of five canyon facilities at Hanford, the Reduction Oxidation Plant (REDOX) was used for the chemical separation of plutonium from irradiated fuel rods from 1952 through 1967. Photo circa April 2022.
The original objectives of the B Plant, T Plant, U Plant, Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, and Reduction-Oxidation Plant facilities were to remove plutonium from uranium fuel rods after the rods had been subjected to a nuclear chain reaction in the Hanford Site reactors. Officially, each of these five facilities was called a “plutonium processing facility” or a “chemical separations plant” because chemicals were required to separate the plutonium from the irradiated fuel rod. 
All of these chemical separations plants look similar to one another. They are hundreds of feet in length, with most standing about 80 feet high and 70 feet wide. The main work areas of these facilities are similar to long warehouses with a lot of open space and high walls, similar to the floor of a canyon. Because of this similarity, the workers who built these chemical separations plants started to call them processing “canyons.” Today these facilities are usually referred to simply as canyons. 
The five canyons at Hanford are all located in the central part of the Site referred to as the Central Plateau. Each remains highly contaminated after years of processing plutonium. Ultimately, all five will be decontaminated and demolished.
Last Updated 09/08/2023 7:51 AM