The Department of Energy plans an open house March 3 in Kennewick to provide information and answer questions about work at the Hanford tank farms and the vitrification plant being built to treat the waste.
It will be 5 to 7 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel Columbia Center, 1101 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Films, exhibits and stations where kids can try on protective equipment are planned.
The vitrification plant is being built to turn up to 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored at the Hanford tank farms into a stable glass form for disposal, possibly starting in 2022. The waste is left from the past production of plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.
The last open house on the vitrification plant was held in March 2012.
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This time information on the tank farms also will be included. Work is underway there to empty waste from leak-prone underground tanks and store it in newer double shell tanks until it can be treated.
One single shell tank is leaking and the oldest of 28 double shell tanks has begun to leak waste from its inner shell.
DOE is considering building two new plants at the tank farms to prepare waste to be sent directly to facilities at the vit plant for glassification, bypassing the plant’s Pretreatment Facility where construction has stopped until technical issues are resolved.