Conversion facility continued

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

The operation of the DUF6 conversion facilities at Portsmouth will continue for up to four months and along with the Paducah, Kentucky operation, comes with a $35.8 million price tag. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management, they are extending the contract for operations of those Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride facilities in both Portsmouth and Paducah.

BWXT Conversion Services, LLC, is the project operating contractor for the DUF6 project to convert more than 800,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride into depleted uranium oxide. The DUF6 project is overseen by the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO) of the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management.

The contract period for the current contractor, BWXT Conversion Services LLC (BWCS), had been scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2016. The contract was previously extended non-competitively for a period of nine months to accommodate the competitive procurement process for a new DUF6 Operations contract and to avoid interruption of services. The additional non-competitive contract extension, valued at approximately $35.8 million, is intended to accommodate DOE’s transition to the new contract without interruptions of ongoing services.

Ongoing services currently performed by BWCS that will continue during the four-month contract extension include operating the DUF6 conversion facilities, and continuing cylinder surveillance and maintenance for the DUF6 inventory and conversion facilities, among other services.

According to sources at Fluor the contract has been awarded to Mid-American Conversion Services and they will take over following the four month extension. A spokesman said Fluor is not the lead on that project but is one of several companies that is supporting that team.

The DUF6 conversion plants were designed and constructed to convert DOE’s inventory of more than 700,000 metric tons of DUF6 left over from decades of uranium enrichment at DOE’s gaseous diffusion plants to a more stable uranium oxide form for beneficial reuse or disposal.

The mission of the Office of Environmental Management is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from five decades of nuclear weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear energy research.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]