US Centrus Energy Corp announced on 9 October that it had completed decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the US Department of Energy's (DOE’s) K-1600 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on time and on budget. Centrus said the $15 million project was completed in one year.
Centrus had leased K-1600 from DOE since 2002 to test and demonstrate uranium enrichment centrifuges, while conducting centrifuge manufacturing, engineering, and design at its Technology and Manufacturing Centre (TMC) in Oak Ridge. In 2018, however, Centrus obtained a licence from the State of Tennessee to allow for future testing activities at TMC. This obviates the need to continue using K-1600 and allows the company to consolidate future centrifuge development efforts into a single, Centrus-owned facility.
DOE awarded Centrus a $15 million Work Authorisation in September 2018 to prepare K-1600 for demolition. The facility is one of the last remaining legacy structures on the 2200-acre site of the World War II-era K-25 uranium enrichment plant, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park.
Centrus's D&D work at K-1600 included removal and disposition of all equipment and materials to render the facility non-radiologically contaminated and non-possessing (i.e. unclassified). As a result, the DOE will be able to turn the facility over to a contractor to demolish the building.
Photo: The East Tennessee Technology Park (Image: DOE)