Vit plant decontamination booth in place

Crews have assembled and placed a decontamination booth weighing more than 8 tons in the Pretreatment Facility at the Hanford vitrification plant.

The booth will be used to decontaminate large pieces of equipment that must be removed from radioactive areas when they require maintenance.

"The decontamination booth is the first significant piece of permanent plant equipment to be placed inside the Pretreatment Facility that is not required to support the civil construction progress," said Ray Patterson, Bechtel National area project manager for the facility.

Earlier, some large vessels and cranes had to be set before the upper floors and surrounding walls could be installed.

The stainless steel booth stands 14.5 feet tall, 15 feet long and 7 feet wide. It was delivered to the vitrification plant construction site in 13 pieces, which were moved inside the Pretreatment Facility and assembled.

The ceiling of the booth will be equipped with a single-track trolley and a hoist that can be used to move and hang equipment during cleaning. It also will be equipped with leaded-glass viewing windows, which provide shielding from radiation, and two sets of gloveboxes that allow workers to manipulate cleaning equipment inside the booth.

"Installation of the decontamination booth is another example of the transition from civil construction to mechanical installations in the Pretreatment Facility," said Wahed Abdul, DOE project manager for the facility. "The transition is crucial as we move toward construction completion in 2016, commissioning in 2019 and full operations in 2022."

The Pretreatment Facility is the largest building at the vitrification plant, which is being built to turn up to 56 million gallons of radioactive waste into a stable glass form for disposal.