Start date: 2016 | Completion: Ongoing
The U.S. Department of Energy needed a partner to convert its inventory of approximately 800,000 metric tons of stored DUF6 into depleted uranium oxide, a more stable chemical form that can be reused, stored or disposed.
Through joint venture company Mid-American Conversion Services, Westinghouse Government Services (WGS) supplies key personnel to operate the two depleted DUF6 facilities at the DoE’s Paducah Diffusion Plant site in Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site in Piketown, Ohio. The DUF6 Conversion Process involves five parts: Cylinder recycling; vaporization; conversion; oxide powder handling; and hydrofluoric acid recovery system. The Portsmouth inventory is expected to be processed in 18 years and Paducah’s larger inventory within 30 years.
The Department of Energy awarded Westinghouse this highly visible project based on the company’s extensive experience in optimizing nuclear plant operations and the multidiscipline capabilities of its key personnel.