Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


The Radiochemical Engineering Development Center

The Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) operates in conjunction with the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). It, along with HFIR, was built to produce transuranium isotopes for research. Since beginning operations in 1966, it has been the nation's main center of production, storage, and distribution of transuranium elements for the DOE's heavy-element research program. It includes the Transuranic Facility (REDC-1, Building 7920) and the Thorium-Uranium Recycle Facility (REDC-2, Building 7930). REDC includes nine heavily-shielded hot cells. Four contain chemical processing equipment for dissolution, solvent extraction, ion exchange, and precipitation operations. Three contain equipment for the preparation and inspection of transuranic element targets. One is used for analytical chemistry operations and one is used for waste collection and sorting.

REDC-1 is a two-level building with glove boxes, laboratories, two heavily-shielded small hot cells (shielded caves), support areas, and an office wing. Major activities in the facility include target preparation, the recovery and purification of transuranium elements, and the development of processing and separations flow sheets. REDC-1 fabricates target rods containing americium and curium, which is then irradiated in HFIR before being returned for processing in the hot cells. Facility activities also include recovery and purification of transuranic elements from irradiated targets, power reactor fuel cycle studies, production of special isotopes for research, alpha glove box laboratories, and analytical chemistry.

REDC-2 is a Category 2, non-reactor nuclear facility of three levels that includes a high bay area housing a hot cell bank, hot cell support areas, laboratories, and an office wing. Facilities activities include chemically processing californium; fabricating, packaging, and shipping neutron sources; recovering Cm-248 from californium; and providing neutron irradiation services.

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