Vessels for radioactive waste plant

CBI Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Chicago Bridge & Iron Company NV, has been awarded a contract valued at approximately USD 40 million by Bechtel National Inc. to supply specialised vessels and other components for the Waste Treatment Plant – River Protection Project at the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. Plutonium was produced for national defence at the Hanford Site from World War II until the end of the Cold War. More than 53 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste from the plutonium manufacturing process are stored in underground tanks at the site. In December 2000, the Department of Energy awarded BNI a 10-year, USD 4 billion contract to design, construct and start up the world’s largest radioactive waste vitrification plant to treat the waste at the Hanford Site. Vitrification is a process that immobilises radioactive waste by blending it into molten glass which is encased in stainless steel canisters. Construction of the Waste Treatment Plant began earlier this year, with commissioning scheduled to begin in 2007. CB&I will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, fabrication and field installation of four skirt-supported stainless steel ASME Section VII Waste Feed Receipt Vessels. These vessels will be located in the Pretreatment Facility, which will separate high-level radioactive waste from low-activity waste pumped from the underground tanks. CB&I’s scope will also include the installation of more than 150,000 square feet of stainless steel plate that will serve as a secondary containment liner in several of the buildings where the vitrification process will take place. CB&I will begin design work on the vessels this summer, with site mobilization expected in late 2002 and completion of its work scope scheduled for early 2005.

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