Fluoride Action Network

Portsmouth & Paducah Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management | January 15th, 2019
Location: United States, Ohio
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

Portsmouth & Paducah Facility Impacts

On June 18, 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued environmental impact statements for the construction and operation of facilities to convert depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) to depleted uranium (DU) oxide at DOE’s Paducah Site in Kentucky and Portsmouth Site in Ohio. Both the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Paducah, KY site (DOE/EIS-0359) and the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio Site (DOE/EIS-0360) were prepared to evaluate and implement DOE’s DUF6 long-term management program.

Decision to Build Facilities

Records of Decision (RODs) were published for the 2004 Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) on July 27, 2004. In the RODs, DOE decided that it would build facilities at both Paducah and Portsmouth and convert DOE’s inventory of DUF6 to DU oxide. DOE decided the aqueous hydrogen fluoride produced during conversion would be sold for use pending approval of authorized release limits. The calcium fluoride (CaF2) produced during conversion operations would be reused, pending approval of authorized release limits, or disposed of as appropriate. DOE also decided that the DU oxide conversion product would be reused to the extent possible or packaged in empty and heel cylinders for disposal at an appropriate disposal facility. Emptied cylinders would also be disposed of at an appropriate facility.

Potential Disposal Options

In December 2018, DOE issued the Draft Supplement Environmental Impact Statement for Disposition of Depleted Uranium Oxide Conversion Product Generated from DOE’s Inventory of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride DOE/EIS-0359-S1 and DOE/EIS-0360-S1. The purpose and need for this action is to identify and analyze alternatives for the disposition of DU oxide. If a beneficial use cannot be found for the DU oxide, all or a portion of the inventory may need to be disposed of. The proposed scope of this DU Oxide SEIS includes an analysis of the potential impacts from three Action Alternatives and a No Action Alternative (in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.14). Under the Action Alternatives, DU oxide would be disposed of at one or more of the three disposal facilities: (1) the EnergySolutions LLC site near Clive, Utah; (2) the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County, Nevada; and (3) the Waste Control Specialists, LLC site near Andrews, Texas. Under the No Action Alternative, transportation and disposal would not occur, and DU oxide containers would remain in storage at Paducah and Portsmouth. All other aspects of the DUF6 conversion activities remain as described previously in the 2004 EISs and RODs and are not within the scope of this DU Oxide SEIS. Public comments on this Draft SEIS were accepted Dec. 28, 2018 until March 4, 2019. When the Final SEIS is published in the Federal Register a link to the Notice of Availability will be linked here.

January 2019 Public Hearing Materials
Regulatory Compliance Documents


Jaffet Ferrer-Torres, Document Manager

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Waste Disposal/EM-4.22, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20585

This article is not dated.

*Original article online at https://www.energy.gov/em/portsmouth-paducah-depleted-uranium-hexafluoride