Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant team recently activated a specially designed crane system to practice bringing empty stainless-steel containers inside the plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility.

RICHLAND, Wash.Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant team recently activated a specially designed crane system to practice bringing empty stainless-steel containers inside the plant’s Low-Activity Waste Facility. During operations, moving containers with the remotely operated crane will be the first step in the process of filling containers with tank waste that has been vitrified, or immobilized in glass. In coming weeks, crew members such as commissioning technicians Joey Zamora, left, and Edwin Cervantes Ochoa will use this hands-on experience and training to gain proficiency and confidence in operating the system. The crane, known as the receipt handling system, will pick up empty containers from a transport trailer and move them onto conveyors for inspection and transfer to a receipt area. A conveyor will then move the containers through an airlock, where another crane will lower the containers onto a transport rail cart on the facility’s lowest level, 21 feet below ground. Working from a control room, team members will move the containers onto a turntable below a large melter to fill them with a mixture of molten glass and tank waste.