In southeastern Washington State, Bechtel National, Inc. is designing, constructing and commissioning the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant for the U.S. Department of Energy. When complete, the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant will process and stabilize much of the 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste currently stored at the Hanford Site.
The plant will use vitrification technology, which involves blending the waste with glass-forming materials and heating it to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. This mixture is poured into stainless steel canisters to cool and solidify. In this glass form, the waste is stable and impervious to the environment, and its radioactivity will safely dissipate over hundreds to thousands of years.
For more information, please see the Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project Fact Sheet.