Piketon OH DUF6 plant passes FY2012 demonstration goal

Tina Ricketson

September 24, 2012

Babcock & Wilcox Conversion Services announces that the Piketon OH DUF6 conversion plant has completed the partial conversion operations phase of its transition to stable, sustainable conversion operations.

The Piketon plant has had one or more lines running for 83 days since the scheduled spring maintenance outage ended. The Piketon project team surpassed its multi-week demonstration goal by operating all three production lines at the plant continuously and simultaneously for 22.5 days from Aug. 1 to Aug. 24, when one of the three lines was brought down for equipment productivity improvements.

Two lines remain in stable, sustained conversion operations. The third line will be returned to operation no later than Sept. 3.

“This achievement is another demonstration of the viability of the process,” said Jack Zimmerman, DUF6 project manager for PPPO. “DOE looks forward to the Paducah plant’s conclusion of their demonstration and moving on to establishing continuous production before the end of this fiscal year.”

“I’m proud of all of our people who worked collaboratively on this across our locations,” said George E. Dials, BWCS president and project manager, “but especially of the effort that the team at Piketon – working under plant manager Ken Collier – put in to reach this milestone. We congratulate them on this important achievement.”

“We have every confidence that Paducah, which currently has two of its four lines in operation, will also achieve its goal on or before Sept. 30. As soon as the demonstration at Paducah is completed, as our contract requires, we will be asking DOE for permission to begin the ramp up to full conversion operations,” he concluded.

The DUF6 conversion plants were constructed to convert the inventory of 785,000 metric tons* of DUF6 held at Piketon OH and Paducah KY to a safer form in preparation for its ultimate disposal.