Deactivation of Feed Vaporization Facility Reduced Hazards at DOE Paducah Site

Workers have removed materials such as oils, combustibles and environmental hazards from the C-333-A Feed Vaporization Facility at EM’s Paducah Site as part of recent actions to prepare the building and its adjoining process gas building for future demolition.

The estimated 8,300-square-foot facility provided feed material to the uranium enrichment process when the site operated as a gaseous diffusion plant. This small facility was connected to the C-333 Process Building and used steam autoclaves to convert feed material to a gas that could be used to enrich uranium. At about 1.1 million-square feet, the C-333 Process Building was one of four large process buildings used at the Paducah Site to enrich uranium.

“While the feed facility is relatively small compared to the adjoining process building, removing materials from C-333-A and disconnecting it from the process building provides a critical step towards the deactivation of the C-333 Process Building,” EM Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Manager Joel Bradburne said.

In addition to reducing hazards in the building, recent deactivation of C-333-A included the safe and compliant removal and disposition of all process gas equipment from the facility. Paducah Site deactivation and remediation contractor Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership (FRNP) led efforts to remove approximately 2,806 feet of process gas equipment piping, 4,630 feet of instrument tubing and 313 process gas components, including valves, instrumentation and other items.

“With C-333-A now disconnected from the process building, we are focused on the deactivation of the C-333 Process Building,” FRNP Program Manager Myrna Redfield said. “Our team has taken every precaution to ensure our activities not only reduce hazards at the site, but continue to be protective of our workforce, the public and the environment.”