Atkins has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), along with joint venture partners Westinghouse and Fluor, to operate the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities at DOE’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio.
The contract to the Mid-America Conversion Services, LLC (MCS) joint venture is valued at $318 million over a five-year period of performance beginning this year.
The project includes the operation of DUF6 conversion facilities for the purpose of processing DOE’s inventory of stored DUF6, a coproduct of the uranium enrichment process. The facilities convert DUF6 to depleted uranium oxide for possible future reuse, storage or disposal. A coproduct of the conversion process is hydrofluoric acid (HF), which can be reused in industrial processes.
Alan Parker, president and project manager in Atkins’ Energy Americas business, said: “Atkins has a long history of success on energy projects around the world, and we look forward to bringing our extensive experience in nuclear operations and high-level waste management to these key facilities in the U.S. nuclear infrastructure. We’ve been involved at the Portsmouth and Paducah sites for over 10 years and managed construction of the DUF6 plants. We’re pleased to resume our involvement in these important projects.”
Mid-America Conversion Services, LLC is a fully integrated team led by Atkins which will operate the two DUF6 conversion facilities to continue the conversion of the DOE’s inventory of approximately 765,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride to depleted uranium oxide. The team of leading nuclear industry experts will also broker the sale of the aqueous hydrofluoric acid (AqHF) product and provide surveillance and maintenance services for the DUF6 cylinder inventory.
Atkins is one of the world’s leading nuclear services consultancies and offers the full range of services for the decommissioning and remediation of nuclear sites and facilities, management of spent nuclear fuel, the transportation of nuclear material and the environmental clean-up of nuclear legacy sites. Atkins has been in nuclear clean-up since the late 1980s working with clients such as Sellafield Ltd, Magnox Ltd, Research Sites Restoration Limited (RSRL) the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and is currently carrying out work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
Find out more about Atkins’ Energy business at www.atkinsglobal.com/energy