Office of Environmental Management

WTP Team Takes Step Toward Finishing LAW Facility

January 9, 2018

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Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant electricians install wiring inside the Low-Activity Waste facility.
Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant electricians install wiring inside the Low-Activity Waste facility.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Construction crews closed 2017 by completing a contract milestone nearly four months ahead of schedule — a major step moving Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) team closer to finishing full construction of the Low-Activity Waste (LAW) Facility structure.

   WTP contractor Bechtel National Inc. (BNI) achieved the contract milestone for electrical work — specifically bulk cable electrical installations — in the LAW Facility. 

   “This accomplishment included balancing a complex design, purchasing quality materials to the right specifications, skilled planning to execute the construction work, and quality craftsmanship in the field,” said Brian Reilly, BNI project director for the WTP Project. “This milestone sets the stage for our workforce to meet the LAW physical plant complete contract milestone of June 2018.”

   The LAW vitrification facility includes more than 1.1 million linear feet of electrical raceway, cables, and wiring. That’s enough combined electrical infrastructure to span 840 laps around an Olympic-sized track or about 210 miles.

   “Completing the electrical cable work is significant,” said Bill Hamel, WTP Federal Project Director for ORP. “The milestone for bulk cable installation, referred to as ‘wire pulls,’ required BNI to complete installation of all scheduled power, control, instrumentation, and fiber optic cables, including all cable tray and raceway systems.”

   The LAW Facility is integral to the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste approach, intended to begin treatment of the low-level waste from Hanford tank waste in December 2021. This approach uses the LAW Facility, support facilities, and the Analytical Laboratory, which are slated to be finished in advance of completion of the entire WTP. This allows waste vitrification as soon as possible, and provides valuable experience for WTP operations when the plant is complete.

   Bechtel is designing, constructing, and commissioning the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant for DOE. When complete, the facility will process and stabilize a portion of the 56 million gallons of radioactive and chemical waste stored at Hanford.

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