Waste is stored, treated and repackaged as required for disposal at Hanford’s Central Waste Complex.
The U.S. Department of Energy and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company are safely and compliantly managing radioactive and mixed waste stored at the Central Waste Complex at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State.
The Central Waste Complex (CWC) is a storage and treatment unit located in the center of the Hanford Site.
At the facility, workers store and treat mixed low-level waste, transuranic and transuranic mixed waste, polychlorinated biphenyl waste, and other waste types requiring treatment before disposal. Waste stored at the CWC will be treated and repackaged as required for disposal.
The CWC has approximately 300,000 square feet (27,900 square meters) of storage space – the equivalent of six football fields – and can store up to 64,000 55-gallon drums of waste. The facility has 7 large storage buildings, 12 small storage buildings, and 5 areas for outdoor storage.
Waste stored and treated at CWC primarily comes from onsite sources, such as retrieved waste from burial grounds and waste generated by retrieval work at other Hanford facilities. Eventually, the waste stored at CWC will be disposed of onsite or at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
Currently, more than 8,000 waste containers, mainly 55-gallon drums, are located inside CWC storage buildings. The waste containers are inspected weekly to ensure safe and compliant storage.