UPF Completes Structural Construction of the Main Process Building

Source: CNS Y-12 | News Blog | October 19, 2021

Uranium Processing Facility's Main Process Building
The east side of the Uranium Processing Facility’s Main Process Building

The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at the Y-12 National Security Complex successfully completed all third-level walls and concrete roof placements for the Main Process Building (MPB) on Wednesday, September 29, marking a major milestone for the UPF Project. This signifies the completion of structural construction for the MPB.

Construction work on the MPB began in 2018, and the interior construction and commissioning will be completed by the end of 2025. The MPB is one of seven UPF subprojects and the largest single building on the project. The 242,000-square-foot structure was built to nuclear construction standards, once completed and fully operational, will house casting, special oxide, and some chemical recovery processes.

The MPB subproject includes the construction and installation of the building as well as site preparation, long-lead procurements, the installation of the Perimeter Instruction Detection Assessment System (PIDAS), and a connector to the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF).

“This milestone marks a major shift for our construction team on the UPF project,” said Dale Christenson, UPF Federal Project Director. “UPF construction team demonstrated the teamwork and tenacity necessary to complete the MPB structure working through the challenges that East Tennessee weather brings, and allows a majority of the work to be performed indoors.”

Construction will continue on the interior of the building as crews install key process modules, gloveboxes, and additional process equipment throughout the next few years. The remaining interior construction also includes additional work for subcontractors on heating and ventilation ductwork, fire protection piping, and interior finishes.

“Completing the structure for the MPB is a major achievement for the project as we continue to build our nation’s UPF,” said Dena Volovar, UPF Project Director. “We are moving the project forward, and we recognize it is vital to get the job done right. We have the right team to deliver UPF, and this achievement shows the great work that is being done each and every day.”

UPF supports the nation’s Uranium Mission Strategy, which ensures the long-term viability, safety, and security of enriched uranium capabilities in the United States. UPF will replace casting, special oxide production, and salvage and accountability capabilities from a World War II-era building with a modern and more efficient facility for conducting highly enriched uranium processing operations at Y-12 National Security Complex.