Some technical issues resolved at Hanford Nuclear Reservation plant

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has resolved three key technical issues that have delayed construction on a major Hanford Nuclear Reservation plant.

But the agency still has five more technical issues to resolve that have delayed construction of the vitrification plant since 2012.

The Tri-City Herald reported the plant is being built to convert 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste into a stable glass form for disposal. The waste is left from the past production of plutonium for the nuclear weapons.

The plant's most recent estimated cost of $16.8 billion does not include any changes that could be required by resolving technical issues.

Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu halted work on parts of the plant in 2012 until technical issues were addressed.

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