Machines with long arm performing demolition on old building.
Crews use heavy equipment to demolish the sludge retrieval annex at the K West Reactor at the Hanford Site.

Watch these time lapse videos of the K West Annex and 203-A Acid Storage Area going down.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Crews with EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Central Plateau Cleanup Company recently completed two key demolition projects, moving the risk-reduction mission forward at the Hanford Site.

In early August, crews began demolition of the K West Annex. The annex supported the packaging and transferring of radioactive sludge from the K West Reactor spent-fuel basin to Hanford’s T Plant for interim storage. The removal of the annex follows the successful completion of the sludge removal project in 2019.

The demolition paves the way for ongoing cleanup efforts near the Columbia River, including the deactivation and demolition of a 1.2 million-gallon spent-fuel basin.

Machine with long arm performing demolition on old building.
Crews demolish empty chemical tanks at a Hanford Site plant that processed most of the site’s reactor fuel rods.

Simultaneously, crews demolished nine tanks and infrastructure at a chemical storage area that once supported Hanford’s Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant (PUREX). To prepare the site for demolition, workers removed materials containing asbestos along nearly 2,000 feet of pipeline, and they disconnected mechanical and electric systems.

The plant played a key role in Hanford’s plutonium production mission during the Cold War era. It supplied about two-thirds of the plutonium produced by the United States.

“Projects like these are very visual examples of ongoing risk-reduction activities across the Hanford Site,” said Andy Wiborg, EM Projects and Facilities Division team lead for Hanford’s Central Plateau Cleanup Project. “Our teams continue to make tremendous progress to safely and efficiently advance our critical cleanup mission.”

-Contributor: Dieter Bohrmann