The Department of Energy announced last week that Melter 1 at the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, also known as the Vit Plant, has hit its operational temperature of 2,100ºF. The DOE began heating Melter 1 in October 2022, but was soon forced to pause when abnormalities in the heaters’ power supply were encountered.
As glass beads, called frit, are added to the melter, the Hanford Site gets closer to treating its low-level radioactive tank waste, according to the DOE. Using the plant’s two 300-ton melters, waste will be stabilized in glass through vitrification before being disposed of on-site in stainless steel canisters.
The DOE has released a new video that shows the path of LLW through the DOE’s vitrification process, known as Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste.