A new plan to modify the design of eight tanks at the Hanford vitrification plant in Washington state will be implemented by the Department of Energy in an effort to hasten the progress of resolving the facility's technical issues. As many as 16 smaller and uniform tanks would serve as replacements for the eight tanks at the plant's Pretreatment Facility, which would allow a high probability of success and cut testing to three years, said Langdon Holton, the agency's senior technical authority for the plant. "[The department] determined the costs of testing these five large vessel designs would be very large, and the testing schedule would span six to eight years," according to an agency report.

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