Perma-Fix Environmental Services has completed the new rail line connecting the Hanford nuclear reservation with its Perma-Fix Northwest Richland plant.
"We expect the new rail line will help reduce the amount of waste on public roads and provide for a much faster and safer means of transporting waste directly to our facility," Louis Centofanti, Perma-Fix chief executive, said in a statement.
The shipments of radioactive waste from Hanford to the Perma-Fix treatment plant sometimes have required roads to be closed as containers of waste are hauled at low speeds.
Perma-Fix won state approval to build a spur of about 1,000 feet from the railroad track owned by Richland within the Horn Rapids Industrial Park.
"Completion of the rail line is another important step in a long-term upgrade ... which will enable us to handle larger volumes of high activity waste," Centofanti said.
In addition to treating Hanford waste, Perma-Fix accepts waste from nuclear power utilities, national laboratories and research facilities.