News reports this week indicated that the Department of Energy is proceeding with plans to ship about 15,000 drums of depleted uranium from Savannah River to Utah for disposal, despite the objections of the state’s leadership. AP reported earlier this week that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to intervene.
Meanwhile, about 800 drums of Savannah River’s DU stockpile will be coming to Oak Ridge. “Currently, the depleted uranium is scheduled to be shipped to Oak Ridge in April 2010,” DOE spokesman John Shewairy said in an e-mail response this week.
DOE contractors are planning to use the depleted uranium from Savannah River to mixed with stocks of U-233 and downblend the material to reduce its fission capability and prepare it for disposal.
The material apparently will be stored at the EnergySolutions’ Manufacturing Sciences Corp. facility until needed for the downblending program.
EnergySolutions heads a partnership that is working on the $384 milion U-233 project at ORNL, where the special nuclear material is stored.