For Immediate Release May 4, 2006 
Media Contact: James Giusti   (803) 952-7697

SRS Makes 200th Shipment 
of Low Enriched Uranium

AIKEN, S.C. -- A joint National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Environmental Management nonproliferation program at the Savannah River Site (SRS) completed its 200th shipment of low enriched uranium (LEU) to Erwin, TN, earlier today. This is the final step at SRS in the process of turning weapons-grade uranium into electricity.

Under SRS' Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Blend Down program, the preparation and shipping of this material has been accomplished safely and efficiently, resulting in a program that is currently six months ahead of schedule. This is a team effort between the Department of Energy and Washington Savannah River Company at SRS.  Final shipments are scheduled in Fiscal Year 2007, with a total of 288 trailers shipped.

“I am particularly proud of our Savannah River Site team, who has done an excellent job achieving this milestone safely and efficiently,” adds Jeff Allison, the Savannah River Operations Office manager.

 In the HEU Blend Down program, SRS is blending down approximately 16.7 metric tons of HEU into 260.5 metric tons of LEU through the Site's H Canyon chemical separation facility.  Processing the uranium from HEU to LEU makes the material less attractive and supports the Nation's nuclear nonproliferation goals. This material is provided to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) via an Interagency Agreement with the Department of Energy. 

  “The arrangement is a win-win opportunity,” says Sterling Franks, Director of the Office of Fissile Material Disposition at SRS.  “Not only are we making the world a safer place by disposing of the Nation’s excess nuclear material, we are also providing a valuable and needed energy product, electricity, in the process.”

 TVA processes the material into reactor fuel for use in two commercial reactors at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, which is producing commercial electrical power in Athens, Alabama.  One reactor has been supplying power through LEU feed for 13 months and the other for one month, providing power for customers throughout the Southeast.

 The HEU Blend Down Program has received several national awards.




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