Bechtel National has been awarded nearly $4.3 million for meeting a contract milestone at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s vitrification plant.
The Department of Energy contractor was required to have most of the bulk cable electrical installation completed at the plant’s Low Activity Waste Facility to be awarded the money.
It met the deadline for the work nearly four months ahead of schedule, according to Bechtel.
The completed work is a key step to having the facility constructed by June 2018. The facility, one of the four large buildings at the plant, stands seven stories high and is the size of a sports arena.
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The Low Activity Waste Facility is expected to have about 210 linear miles of electrical raceway, cables and wiring when construction is complete.
Meeting the contract milestone required “balancing a complex design, purchasing quality material to the right specifications, skilled planning to execute the construction work and quality craftsmanship in the field,” said Brian Reilly, Bechtel project director.
DOE has set a goal to start treating some of the low-activity radioactive waste stored in Hanford’s underground tanks as early as 2022.
Full operation of the plant, which is expected to cost more than $17 billion to build and startup, is not required under a federal court order until 2036. That would include the start of the treatment of high-level radioactive waste stored in Hanford tanks.