The U.S. Department of Energy says a plant being built at the Hanford nuclear reservation to convert radioactive waste into glass is 50 percent complete.
The vitrification plant is expected to begin operating in 2019. It will turn much of the radioactive waste that is stored in underground tanks into glasslike logs for permanent storage.
The $12.3 billion plant has had numerous problems that have resulted in schedule delays and cost increases.
But Shirley Olinger, manager of the Energy Department’s Office of River Protection, said Thursday that workers have surpassed the midway point after eight years of work.
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The Associated Press