Considered the “heart” of the Low-Activity Waste Facility, two 300-ton nuclear waste melters – the largest nuclear industry melters in the world – will be used to heat Hanford’s low-activity tank waste and glass-forming materials to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heated mixture is poured into stainless steel containers for permanent storage – a process called vitrification. Employees finished assembly of the melters in 2017 and these key pieces of equipment have since undergone extensive startup and commissioning testing to ensure successful melter heatup and operation.

Learn about the science behind the melters conducted at Catholic University and glass formulation through a collaboration with the university and two national laboratories.

5x Larger

The 300-ton melters are nearly five times larger than the 65-ton melter in operation at the Department of Energy Savannah River Site’s Defense Waste Processing Facility in South Carolina.

300 Tons Each

The 300-ton melters are approximately 20 feet by 30 feet and 16 feet high, and, when in use, will be the largest waste glass melters in the world.