Initial Y-12 Uranium Transfer Complete

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee on Wednesday completed relocating much of its weapon-grade uranium into a new storage facility on Wednesday, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced (see GSN, March 2)

The process to centralize the site's HEU stockpile at the $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility was originally scheduled to last 13 months but was finished in 73 days. The expedited transfer cut anticipated costs by $26 million and was the result of "detailed planning, material preparation and staging, repackaging and relocating materials not suitable for the new facility, and application of lean manufacturing principles," according to a press release.

"The start of HEUMF operations has been remarkably smooth, including stellar operational readiness reviews and this very successful initial loading effort," Ted Sherry, manager of the NNSA Y-12 site office, said in the release. "It's a credit to a site office and contractor team dedicated to the president's commitment to safe, secure and efficient storage that ensures nuclear security not just for the United States but nations around the world."

The new storage facility now contains 40 percent of the site's weapon-grade uranium and is expected to receive additional highly enriched uranium from four other facilities in the upcoming year and a half. It is intended to replace older storage facilities to the uranium remains secure and to "free up valuable space for materials needed in manufacturing operations," the release state (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, April 8).

April 9, 2010
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The Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee on Wednesday completed relocating much of its weapon-grade uranium into a new storage facility on Wednesday, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced (see GSN, March 2)