In a Jan. 7 letter to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz provided an update on the Electrorefining Project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and how the project is addressing issues/concerns raised by the safety board last October.
The Electrorefining Project is supposed to replace some of the uranium recovery processes currently carried out in the aged 9212 complex at the Oak Ridge plant. The NNSA is trying to get out of 9212 as soon as possible because of its deteriorated condition.
DNFSB Chairman Joyce Connery earlier questioned whether parts of the project were fully addressing the safety requirements. Klotz said evaluations of the project’s “confinement approach,” the fire-protection system, and glovebox windows would be completed by the end of April.
“This scheduled completion date is in support of the project’s 30 percent design completion milestone,” the NNSA chief wrote to Connery.
The Electrorefining Project is to be located in Buidling 9998 in the main production area at Y-12, and that building is part of a structural analysis to support extending the life of the older production facilities, including Building 9215 and Beta-2E.
The Electrorefining Project is estimated to cost between $58.6 million and $76.7 million.
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