Cold trap removal helps advance DOE site cleanup

Workers secure a container to ship the first of 22 cold traps from the U.S. Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Cleanup efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant took a significant step forward late last month when the first of 22 cold traps used in the uranium-enrichment process was shipped off-site.

During the plant's uranium-enrichment years, cold traps supported various processes, including activities at the C-410 feed plant. That 5-acre facility produced uranium hexafluoride (UF6).

The cold traps -- long, cylindrical heat exchangers -- were used to convert UF6 gas to a solid that was later liquefied, transferred to cylinders and fed through pipes into a system of process gas equipment where enrichment occurred.

"We advance the cleanup at the Paducah site one step at a time," said Jennifer Woodard, DOE's Paducah site lead. "The removal of this first cold trap is a step forward."

Cold traps at the site range in size and can weigh as much as 16,000 pounds -- about four times the weight of an automobile. Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, the deactivation and remediation contractor at the DOE facility, led the efforts to ship the 15,000-pound cold trap off-site for disposal.

"Our team worked many hours to ensure the work was accomplished without compromising the safety or health of our workers, the public or the environment," said Myrna Redfield, president/CEO and program manager for FRNP.

The cold trap was packaged and shipped intact, which reduces the risk of exposure to hazardous materials. The DOE did not specify where the cold trap was being shipped to for disposal or provide a timeline for the shipping of the remaining 21 traps.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.