Alternative Proposal for Uranium Work Now Under Agency Review

An expert plan on alternatives to constructing a costly enriched-uranium processing plant has been completed and turned over to the Energy Department.

Bruce Held, the acting head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, was given the "Red Team"-produced plan on Tuesday, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Roughly 25 specialists culled from various fields -- such as nuclear safety, security and project management -- were involved in producing the report, which examines options for modernizing uranium-processing operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.

The existing plan to build a multibillion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility has been criticized for its growing price tag, schedule delays and project mismanagement.

Few details about the Red Team alternative plan were available. The team was formed with the objective of coming up with options that would feasibly permit Y-12 to shut down its decades-old uranium complex no later than 2025 and establish replacement facilities within a budget of $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion.

Red Team leader Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, told the newspaper that although there are unclassified sections of the report, "it will be up to [the National Nuclear Security Administration] to determine what can be shared publicly."

"I think we were able to respond to the charge and come up with a possible alternative for the [agency] to consider," Mason was quoted as saying in a separate News Sentinel report.

April 16, 2014
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An expert plan on alternatives to constructing a costly enriched-uranium processing plant has been completed and turned over to the Energy Department.

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