Fluoride Action Network

Paducah, Kentucky: B&W Conversion Services takes over US Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) Project

Source: Nuclear Engineering International | March 29th, 2011
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

B&W Conversion Services LLC has assumed responsibility for the Department of Energy Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) Project for uranium conversion operations in Paducah (KY) and Portsmouth (OH).

March 29 marks the end of the 85-day transition period which began with the Department of Energy’s “Notice to Proceed” issued January 3. BWCS — a limited liability company created by Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group and URS Energy & Construction — was awarded the five-year, $428 million contract on Dec. 8, 2010.

The two facilities were constructed to convert approximately 700,000 metric tons of DUF6 stored at the two sites into a more stable chemical form suitable for beneficial reuse or disposal. DUF6 was generated during the operation of the gaseous diffusion enrichment plants at the Portsmouth and Paducah Sites.

The Portsmouth DUF6 inventory is expected to be processed in approximately 18 years and Paducah’s larger inventory within 25 years. The construction and operation of these plants was mandated by Congress. Groundbreaking was in Aug. 2002. Construction was completed at Piketon on May 20, 2008, and at Paducah on Dec. 19, 2008.

The Piketon site was authorized to begin Hot Functional Testing in May, 2010. Paducah was authorized to begin HFT in September 2010. BWCS plans a phased contractor readiness assessment and restart of operations at both sites.

The company will also have administrative offices in Lexington, KY, to facilitate interactions with the managing DOE Portsmouth Paducah Project Office.