B&W Y-12 Finishes Initial HEUMF Loading Ahead of Schedule
Officials at the Y-12 National Security Complex have announced that an initial, accelerated transfer of enriched uranium to the nation's new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF) is complete, more than two weeks ahead of an already accelerated schedule and at a significant savings of approximately $26 million to taxpayers. The complex is operated by Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC (B&W Y-12) for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The initial transfer of material from a decades-old warehouse was completed in 73 days, well ahead of the 90-day goal and a fraction of the original plan, which called for loading to be performed over a 13-month period. HEUMF operations were authorized two months ahead of schedule in January 2010, with loading beginning January 25. The accelerated plan was made possible by detailed planning, material preparation and staging, repackaging and relocating materials not suitable for the new facility, and application of lean manufacturing principles.
"Completing this task was the result of a concentrated effort by a dedicated, integrated team," said Darrel Kohlhorst, President and General Manager of B&W Y-12. "This is truly the first large move toward the transformation of Y-12 and ranks with some of the other large historical activities that have occurred at this great facility."
"B&W Y-12 employees are to be commended for this outstanding effort," said S. Robert Cochran, President of B&W Technical Services Group, Inc. "Not only was this phase of the project finished well ahead of schedule, but it was completed in a safe, secure, and high-quality manner."
Additional enriched uranium currently located in four processing areas at Y-12 will be moved to the HEUMF over the next year and a half to provide more efficient and secure storage, and to free up valuable space for materials needed in manufacturing operations.