US Uranium Processing Facility authorised to construct main buildings


The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) project of the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has secured permission to begin construction of the main process building, salvage and accountability building and process support facilities sub-projects.

Under the UPF project, a modern, more efficient and safer facility will replace an early-Cold War plant for conducting highly-enriched uranium operations at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said: “The DOE strives to excel in project management. This is a great example of our efforts to keep projects on schedule and to be good stewards of taxpayer resources.”

Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, the project management executive, approved the cost and baseline for this work, which will help upgrade the nation’s nuclear security infrastructure.

DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lisa E Gordon-Hagerty said: “This milestone is another important step toward delivering UPF and strengthening our nation’s nuclear security.

“I’m proud of the UPF team for keeping an acquisition project of this size and scope on budget and on schedule.”

The main process building will be a three-storey, 240,000ft² building that will house enriched uranium operations. The other two buildings, the salvage and accountability building and process support facilities, will support operations in the main process building.

The UPF project is being implemented through a series of seven sub-projects.

Two of these completed on time and under budget, whereas two were underway prior to authorisation of the three buildings.

In advance of seeking the authorisation, the project had achieved 90% design completion in September 2017.

The NNSA, using a ‘build to budget’ strategy, has committed to Congress to deliver UPF for $6.5bn by the end of 2025, assuming stable funding throughout the duration of the project.

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