Issuance Of Final Report On Preconceptual Designs For Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Plants

The Department of Energy (DOE) initiated a task in March 1999 to develop more comprehensive Preconceptual Designs and Cost Estimates for Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion plants based on generic and proven DUF6 conversion processes and technologies. During this fast-track effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), operated by the University of California, and Bechtel National Incorporated (Bechtel) developed several preconceptual design cases.

The purpose of these studies was to obtain a better understanding of typical plant designs and costs for different ownership options, conversion operating periods, and conversion approaches. The study assumes the costs associated with a nominal 60 percent capacity plant, applying different uranium oxide conversion approaches. For these generic DUF6 conversion facilities, the study examined the differences between government owned and contractor operated (GOCO) and privately owned and privately operated (POPO) facilities. Also, for one typical conversion approach, the study analyzed the differences between 25-year operations and 15-year operations. Certain conversion facility cost aspects, such as management of the DUF6 storage containers, transportation to and from the conversion facilities, and conversion end-product disposition, were not included due to the short study duration.

DOE is releasing the report of these studies to provide additional preconceptual designs and costs information on DUF6 conversion facilities to the public. All preconceptual design results from the LLNL and Bechtel study are nonproprietary. Use of these preconceptual designs is not required and their use by individuals is at their own risk.

Interested parties reading this report should not infer that DOE has made a decision that one conversion approach and technology is preferred over another, nor should it be construed that only one conversion plant would be built. DOE is continuing its deliberations on what the final conversion products and technologies should be and will not finalize its decision until a later date.