Up to 60 employees at the Hanford vitrification plant project are expected to receive layoff notices this week.
“Assignments are ending for some employees in support functions such as business services, project controls and organization effectiveness,” said George Rangel, spokesman for Department of Energy contractor Bechtel National.
The project employs about 2,750 people.
The change comes as most of the engineering, purchasing and construction work is being completed for the vitrification plant’s Low Activity Waste Facility, Analytical Laboratory and about 20 support facilities.
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Those buildings will be needed as the plant begins turning some low activity radioactive waste now stored in underground tanks into a stable glass form for disposal as soon as 2022.
The waste is left from the past production of plutonium at the Hanford nuclear reservation for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.
“The (vit plant) project team will work with those employees whose assignments are ending to identify potential opportunities on other projects,” Rangel said.