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Audit Report: IG-0810

January 9, 2009

Potential Uses for Depleted Uranium Oxide

The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (EM) manages approximately 700,000 metric tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride at the gaseous diffusion plants located near Paducah, Kentucky. and Portsmouth, Ohio. It plans to convert the depleted uranium hexafluoride to a stable material. The conversion process will produce approximately 55 1,000 metric tons of depleted uranium oxide - a relatively stable form that can be handled and disposed of by direct burial or, potentially, used in various materials or products. Over a period of about 13 years, the Department has conducted research which established that the oxide could possibly be used in catalysts, semiconductors, nuclear repository applications and radiation shielding products.

Topic: Environmental Cleanup