Engineers at the Hanford vitrification plant have completed the civil, structural and architectural design for the most structurally complex building on the plant's campus, Bechtel National announced Monday.
The High Level Waste Facility, which will turn high level radioactive waste into a stable glass form, will have more than 87,000 cubic yards of concrete and more than 10,000 tons of structural steel when complete.
Adding to its complexity, "it contains a significant number of rooms and nontraditional civil structures that are designed to provide radiological protection and comply with seismic and other critical design criteria," Tom Patterson, manager of engineering for Bechtel, said in a statement.
The building is 270 feet wide by 440 feet long and will stand 96 feet tall. It will house the two 90-ton melters that will heat the waste and glass-forming agents to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit before they are poured into stainless steel canisters for permanent storage.
"The design has been reviewed by the Department of Energy, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and other regulatory agencies to ensure the utmost safety and quality standards are upheld," Jeff Trent, Department of Energy area project manager for the facility, said in a statement. "Completion of the High Level Waste Facility civil design is a significant step toward completing construction in 2016 and achieving operations in 2019."
The civil, structural and architectural design for the facility comprises approximately 3,000 drawings, calculations and data sheets. It covers the major structural elements of rebar, concrete and steel for the building, but additional design work is still needed for details such as piping.
Total design for the building is 86 percent complete.
The civil, structural and architectural design also has been completed for the Low Activity Waste Facility and the Analytical Laboratory and is 85 percent complete for the Pretreatment Facility. Total design for the entire vitrification plant is 80 percent complete.