RICHLANDÂ â€” A diesel generator weighing more than 50 tons has been set in place to provide electricity for support systems during possible power failures at the Hanford vitrification plant.
The generator is designed to start automatically within 60 seconds when electric service to the plant is interrupted.
It can supply 2,250 kilowatts of electricity, enough to support almost 1,800 U.S. households.
It will be used in power outages to provide electricity to the plantâ€™s main switchgear building for sitewide distribution for lights, signs and other support systems.
The generator is powered by a 3,570 horsepower, water-cooled engine, according to Department of Energy contractor Bechtel National. It is 42 feet long, 12 feet wide and 14 feet tall.
â€œThe standby generator is one of the many systems incorporated into the vit plant design for safe operations, said Wes Stone, area project manager for the plantâ€™s 20 support facilities and the Analytical Laboratory.
The standby generator is part of the 20 support facilities that provide the infrastructure needed to support vitrification plant operations. About half of the support facilities have been completed.
The plant is being built to turn up to 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste into a stable glass form for disposal.
The generator was manufactured by Stewart and Stevenson Services Inc. of Houston, Texas. It will be installed over the next several months.