August 11, 2022 – Crews have completed decontamination in the most highly radioactive cell at the Main Plant Process Building at the West Valley Demonstration project.
Cleanup of the Product Purification Cell‐South, which resembled a 57‐foot tall elevator shaft, “contributed to an overall reduction in radiological hazards that will support the demolition of the Main Plant,” according to Joseph Pillittere, a spokesman for CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, the contractor working on the nuclear cleanup at the West Valley site.
The U.S. Department of Energy is removing as much radioactive and other hazardous material like asbestos as possible before demolition of the plant begins sometime this fall.
The West Valley plant, which operated from the mid 1960s to 1972, was the first commercial reprocessing site for spent nuclear fuel rods. The owner, Nuclear Fuel Services, shut down the plant rather than install additional environmental safeguards.
Product Purification Cell‐South was used to house vessels associated with plutonium separation, concentration, material controls and batching for shipping. Link to article