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Environmental Management- Disposition Services

AREVA Federal Services is a member of Uranium Disposition Services, LLC (UDS), a subcontractor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to disposition the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) that has been stored at three sites: Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; and the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. DUF6 is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process used to make uranium suitable for use as fuel for nuclear reactors or in national security applications.

Providing Solutions for Process Waste

UDS’s scope of work for the DUF6 Conversion Project includes the design, construction, and operation of the conversion facilities at the Portsmouth and Paducah sites. These facilities will convert the DOE’s inventory of DUF6 to a stable chemical form acceptable for beneficial use, reuse, or disposal. UDS also provides surveillance and maintenance of the DOE inventory of cylinders containing DUF6, low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, and natural assay uranium hexafluoride.
As a recognized world leader in the design and operations of UF6 conversion facilities, AREVA brings to this project demonstrated expertise in the safety, operability and cost-effective patented UF6 dry conversion process from AREVA ‘s full-scale production facility in Richland, WA.
The DOE awarded this contract in 2002, and construction is now complete on both facilities.  They are currently undergoing operational testing and readiness reviews before operations can begin.


Background on DUF6

Over fifty years of Gaseous Diffusion Plant operations have resulted in nearly 700,000 metric tons of DUF6 in storage at the Oak Ridge, Paducah, Portsmouth sites. The total number of cylinders at each site is:

  • Paducah: 39,000 Cylinders
  • Portsmouth: 25,000 Cylinders (DUF6 cylinders previously located at ETTP have been transferred to the Portsmouth site for conversion.)

At the end of the conversion process, the by-products include both Uranium Oxide, which can be packaged for disposal, storage or re-use as fuel for nuclear reactors, and Aqueous Hydrogen Flouride (HF), a product that can be commercially marketed for use in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.

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Paul Murray
AREVA Federal Services