The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded a $428,050,945 Phase II contract to Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS). This follow-on contract establishes capabilities for initial production and up to two years of full production for the purification and conversion of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and very highly enriched uranium (VHEU).
“In addition to making an important contribution to our national security and research opportunities, this contract will enable NFS to support the local communities surrounding the site through small business contracts and additional employment opportunities,” said Ron Dailey, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. president. NNSA is currently modernizing facilities, equipment, and processes used at the Y-12 National Security Complex to recycle and recover HEU. A Phase II contract will ensure an oxide-to-metal conversion capability is maintained while the site draws down its current oxide-to-metal conversion capability to later ramp up with the establishment of new technologies such as Direct Electrolytic Reduction (DER) in enduring facilities at Y-12.
In addition to ensuring an oxide-to-metal conversion capability is maintained, a follow-on Phase II contract with NFS provides an opportunity to convert VHEU oxide-to-metal. Y-12 does not have the capability nor plans to establish the capability to convert VHEU oxide to purified metal. NNSA will utilize NFS capabilities to convert this material to purified metal.
HEU and VHEU purified metal recycled through the oxide-to-metal conversion process at NFS will be returned to NNSA for placement into storage for future use. The contract will also allow NFS to use portions of the purification and conversion line to produce fuel feedstock for potential use by Naval Reactors.