Centrus completes Oak Ridge D&D contract

10 October 2019

Centrus Energy Corp has completed decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE's) K-1600 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one year after being awarded the contract to prepare the facility for demolition. K-1600 is one of the last remaining legacy structures on the East Tennessee Technology Park site.

DOE Office of Environmental Management's vision for the East Tennessee Technology Park (Image: DOE EM)

Centrus had since 2002 leased K-1600 from DOE to test and demonstrate its American Centrifuge uranium enrichment technology, while carrying out centrifuge manufacturing, engineering, and design at its own Technology and Manufacturing Center (TMC) - a former Boeing plant - in south Oak Ridge. The state of Tennessee in 2018 issued a licence to Centrus to allow for future testing activities to take place at TMC, enabling the company to consolidate its future centrifuge development efforts at a single facility and removing the need for it to continue using K-1600.

The DOE in September 2018 awarded Centrus a USD15 million to prepare the facility for demolition. This has been completed on time and on budget, Centrus said. "This success demonstrates our broad technical capabilities and reflects our strategy of diversifying the business by offering advanced engineering, manufacturing, and D&D services," Centrus President and CEO Daniel Poneman said.

The D&D work undertaken by Centrus 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). The DOE will now be able to turn the facility over to a contractor to demolish the building. Decontaminating and decommissioning K-1600 is part of a larger effort by DOE to clean up the site of the World War II-era K-25 uranium enrichment plant, so that it can be reused for commercial and industrial purposes by the local community.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News