Paducah Site Constructing New Scanning Facility for Building Deactivation

EM’s Paducah Site is constructing a key facility in the cleanup of the former gaseous diffusion plant.

The Large Item Neutron Assay System (LINAS) will house scanning equipment to support the deactivation of the C-333 Process Building, one of the two largest facilities at the former uranium-enrichment plant in western Kentucky.

Deactivation is the process of placing a contaminated excess facility in a stable condition to minimize existing risks and protect workers, the public, and the environment while preparing it for future decommissioning and demolition.

LINAS will reuse Helium-3 Detector Tubes from EM’s Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee to scan and measure the neutron particles emitted from uranium deposits inside large equipment removed from the process building. Measurements from the scans will be used to determine how the equipment will be disposed.

The LINAS chamber, where the scanners will measure the neutrons emitted from the equipment, has a 3-foot-thick ceiling, 2-foot-thick walls, and 18-inch-thick doors to ensure any natural radiation present in the environment is blocked during scans to improve the accuracy of the data generated from the scan.

“Construction and operation of the LINAS facility is a key step in the deactivation of the site’s process buildings,” said Jennifer Woodard, the Paducah Site lead with EM's Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office. “This process will allow us to safely and efficiently evaluate process building equipment for disposition.”

C-333 has more than 1,300 pieces of equipment to be downsized and dispositioned as a part of facility deactivation. The LINAS facility is expected to be completed by spring 2022 and will become fully operational in September 2022.