A group of people pose for a picture inside a large facility builidng

After two years of renovations and upgrades, the Hanford Site’s Effluent Treatment Facility load-in station is open for business.

RICHLAND, Wash. — In an integral step toward preparing for tank waste treatment on the Hanford Site, the newly renovated load-in station at the Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) recently reopened for business.

Over the past two years, Hanford tank operations contractor Washington River Protection Solutions upgraded and expanded the load-in station to prepare for the added wastewater demands of the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) Program.

“The successful transition from construction and testing to operations is another important step toward treating tank waste, a top Hanford priority,” said Will Ruane, Hanford’s ETF program manager. “The upgrades boost efficiency and dependability to ensure the facility can handle the increased wastewater capacity the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste Program will require.”

Side by side pictures of a building before and after construction

The Hanford Site’s Effluent Treatment Facility load-in station during, left, and after expansion and upgrades.

The ETF load-in station receives wastewater shipments via tanker trucks from various work projects around the Hanford Site in addition to what will come from DFLAW operations. The wastewater is pumped from the load-in station and then to Hanford’s Liquid Effluent Retention Facility for storage before eventual processing at the ETF.

During renovations, the interior of the load-in station was gutted and all new piping, electrical and mechanical equipment was installed. A new offloading platform was added to allow safer and easier operator access to the tankers. The modifications also enable an additional tanker to prepare for unloading while another tanker is being emptied. The load-in station was also extended by 30 feet to accommodate larger tanker trucks.

“We’re proud of the tireless effort of all our construction teams, craftsmen, testing staff and operators,” said Rob Wood, Washington River Protection Solutions ETF load-in station project manager. “The renovated load-in station prepares us for and will support 24/7 operations on the Hanford Site.”

One of the first tankers to unload at the station will be from the K West Reactor spent-fuel storage basin. Contaminated water will be pumped out of the 1.2-million-gallon basin, filtered and transported to ETF for processing and disposal beginning next month.

-Contributor: Joan Lucas