125-ton melter on road to Hanford vit plant today

The heavy-haul transporter carrying the first 125-ton melter assembly for the Hanford vitrification plant should reach Hanford today.

It was expected to leave Pendleton this morning and could be at the edge of Hanford around noon, depending on weather and traffic. Drivers may see some rolling slowdowns as it travels north on Highway 395 and then skirts around the Tri-Cities. It is expected to travel out the bypass highway to Hanford.

The transporter includes a tractor in front, a 13-axle trailer and a tractor in back, totaling nearly 190 feet in length. It is 21 feet wide and takes up two lanes, although drivers have been moving when possible along the side of the road so traffic can pass.

The melter is one of two that will be installed at the Low-Activity Waste Facility at the vitrification plant to turn radioactive waste into a stable glass form.