PADUCAH, Ky. – Achieving a 2022 priority ahead of schedule, EM successfully removed 1 million pounds of an ozone-depleting chemical from the Paducah Site, a benefit to the environment comparable to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by taking about 10,000 vehicles off the road in a year.
“Congratulations to the Paducah team for meeting this milestone,” Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Manager Joel Bradburne said. “This is a significant advancement towards DOE’s goal to remove R-114 from the Paducah Site entirely over the next few years.”
Dichlorotetrafluoroethane, commonly known as R-114 refrigerant, played an important role in uranium enrichment operations at the Paducah Site before operations ceased in 2014. Those operations produced large quantities of heat as a result of compressing uranium hexafluoride gas. The heat had to be removed by means of a cooling process as R-114 was pumped into the system to control temperatures during the conversion process.
The R-114 removal project, led by deactivation and remediation contractor Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership (FRNP), with support from subcontractor Veolia, was completed over a month ahead of schedule.
“We have made tremendous progress in the removal of R-114 from the Paducah Site,” FRNP Program Manager Myrna Redfield said. “In addition to the strong team we have put together at FRNP, we also give credit to the valuable partnership we have established with our subcontractor Veolia, who has supported this milestone as we shipped one million pounds of R-114 to their facility this calendar year.”
Since 2020, FRNP has safely and compliantly removed approximately 40% of the site’s former 8.5-million-pound R-114 inventory, filling over 100 specialized containers for offsite shipment and treatment. Over the next three years, FRNP will work to remove the remaining 5.3 million pounds of R-114, achieving DOE’s goal to reduce this environmental hazard from the Paducah Site altogether.
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