The Buffalo News reports progress on the West Valley Demonstration Project. After years of converting liquid nuclear waste to glass, the buildings are now being taken down, very carefully.
West Valley was the nation’s only commercial nuclear reprocessing plant.
The waste was created when the site was operated by Nuclear Fuel Services between 1966 and 1972.
The building where the most highly radioactive materials at the West Valley Demonstration Project were once handled is being torn down.
The vitrification plant is where 600,000 gallons of liquid nuclear waste were turned into glass cylinders in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The cylinders were then packaged in fives and welded into steel canisters before being stored under 21-inch thick concrete casks and relocated to another spot on site.
In mid-September, contractors started peeling away the outside of the steel and sheet metal exterior of the building and the roof. That work wrapped up in early November, said West Valley officials.
“The (contractor) is making great progress with the safe completion of the first phase of this facility’s demolition,” said Bryan Bower, project director for the U.S. Department of Energy. “This accomplishment allows our team to continue its work in the completion of site demolition activities.”
The linked article includes several photos, inside and outside the plant.