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Wed May 29 2024

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Bechtel rebuts comments about safety of waste plant

31 Aug 12 Bechtel has responded to an internal US Department of Energy (DOE) memo that questions the company’s ability to carry out safe design of a Washington state radioactive-waste treatment plant.

The facility, known as the Vit Plant, will treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste currently stored in underground tanks in Washington state.

“Everyone who works on this project knows that at the end of the day, this plant has to work safely and effectively because we are dealing with radioactive waste,” said Frank Russo, Bechtel’s project director at WTP. “We will get it right because people’s lives and the environment depend on it.  That’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, nor do the 3,000 people who work on this project.”

He said that the company has carefully reviewed the comments in the memo and found that the issues date as far back as 10 years and have long since been resolved in concert with DOE.   He added: “There is no question that the Vit Plant project represents a major design and engineering challenge, and I am the first to acknowledge there is still a handful of questions that must be answered before the entire plant can be completed.”

Bechtel National is designing and building the treatment plant for DOE. The project is more than 60% complete.

“I am confident Bechtel has the depth of talent and the expertise necessary to deliver a completed Vit Plant that will address the very real and present threat posed by the waste in the Hanford tanks.  We respect and welcome the opinions of others and will continue to rely on prudent science to move forward with this increasingly important mission,” Russo added.

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