About the 242-A Evaporator

The 242-A Evaporator is located in the 200 East Area of the Hanford Site and is critical to the safe management of Hanford's tank waste. It began operating in 1977 to reduce the volume of waste stored in Hanford's underground tanks by removing water from the waste.

Analyzing the Waste

Prior to processing waste through the Evaporator, the waste is analyzed to determine its key constituents. This information is used to determine how the waste will behave both during and after the evaporation process, and to determine how much water can be safely removed from the waste.

Evaporator Process

If acceptable for processing, the waste is pumped into the evaporator from nearby double-shell tanks via double-walled underground transfer lines. It goes into a sealed vessel where atmospheric pressure is reduced and steam heat is applied, boiling the waste at only 125 degrees F., much lower than it would under normal pressure. When the waste reaches a designated thickness, called specific gravity, the waste is transferred to a double-shell tank for storage.

Learn more about the 242-A evaporator here.