Department of Energy officials and Fluor-B&W Portsmouth leaders provided representatives of Governor John Kasich’s staff with an overview of activities under way during the staff’s visit to the DOE Portsmouth Site in Piketon Jan. 14.
DOE Site Director Dr. Vince Adams and Site Lead Joel Bradburne greeted the group and presented information on plans for cleanup of the site’s former gaseous diffusion plant. Bradburne detailed the history and size of the plant and the scope of work involved.
Fluor-B&W Deputy Project Director Bob Nichols presented information on several key activities of the past year. Nichols discussed the demolition of the X-100 Administration Building and X-101 Medical Services Building. He also described the shutdown of the X-600 coal-fired steam plant and installation of a right-sized natural gas-fired plant that will save about $2 million in the first year of operation while producing a smaller carbon footprint.
The presenters provided an overview of plans for 2013, including the anticipated decisions that will define the cleanup path. These will include decisions on what will be done with the process buildings and equipment of the uranium enrichment cascade. The cascade is the vast network of equipment and piping through which uranium was processed to produce materials, originally for the Department of Defense and in more recent decades to make fuel for the Navy and later the nuclear power industry.
The visitors were joined through video conference by William Murphie of the DOE Portsmouth Paducah Project Office (PPPO) in Lexington, KY.
The visitors were taken on a driving tour of the plant and a walking tour through a demonstration cell in the X-333 Process Building, where Fluor-B&W’s Heath Cisco provided an overview of how uranium enrichment was carried out within the cascade. The three process buildings housing the cascade are about 100 acres under roof. Eventual cleanup of the Site is expected to involve more than 400 buildings and systems to leave the site available for any future development.
The visitors were then provided tours of the B&W Conversion Services facilities and the American Centrifuge Project (ACP) facilities that are also at the DOE Site in Piketon. The visitors included the governor’s Southeast Ohio Regional Liaison Nick Gatz, Energy and Environment Policy Director Craig Butler, Federal Relations Assistant Policy Director Erik Johnson, Health and Human Services Assistant Policy Director Jennifer Seidel, Mark Hamlin of the Lt. Governor’s Office and James Sferra of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Southeast District Office.