One of two planned US processing facilities for depleted uranium hexafluoride has begun operations.
The Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility, located in Piketon, Ohio, will convert more than 250,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride into a safer form for reuse or disposal over 18 years.
Depleted uranium hexafluoride has been generated in the United States since the mid-1940s as a byproduct of enriching uranium for both civilian and military applications at three gaseous diffusion plants located near Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Paducah, Kentucky; and Piketon, Ohio. As a result, approximately 700,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride are now in DOE storage at the Paducah and Piketon plants. The remaining 450,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride stored at Paducah will be converted in a similar facility.
Following the ceremony, Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Damoe; Poneman toured environmental cleanup projects that are being supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act included $118 million to promote economic recovery and accelerate cleanup at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
In July, workers successfully completed the demolition of the 8,000 square foot X-760 Chemical Engineering Building. Workers have also completed cleanup work on the 20-acre Cooling Tower Complex.
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