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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Key Facilities

Process Buildings Laboratory Sewage Plant
Cafeteria Maintenance Shop Warehouse Facilities
Fire Headquarters Administration Buildings Vehicle Maintenance
Security Headquarters Steam Plant Process Support
Medical Facility Water Treatment Plant

Delivery of slightly enriched uranium

The Paducah Tiger rail cars deliver slightly enriched uranium hexafluoride from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky to the Portsmouth Plant's Feed Vaporization and Sampling Facility.

Production feed cylinder

A Paducah product feed cylinder is shown being loaded into Autoclave No. 2 of the Feed Vaporization & Sampling Facility. Cylinders are weighed and selectively sampled for purity and adherence to specifications.


Feed enters the Portsmouth Cascade in a Process Building.

Process cell

This is one of the process cells used to enrich uranium at the Portsmouth Plant. The large tanks are called converters. Each cell has eight stages; consisting of one converter, one motor and one compressor. Uranium gas passes through the converter and is separated into U-235 and U-238. The enriched gas stream moves up the cascade to the next stage from the pressure generated by a large compressor driven by a 3,300 horsepower motor. The depleted stream moves down to a lower stage through a similar compressor and motor.

Process building

Enriched product flows through piping between process buildings. The process equipment shown on the previous tour stops is located in these buildings.


In the Switchyard, 16 transformers rated between 90 and 176 Megavolt Amperes, transform 345Kilovolts to 13.8 Kilovolts. A three-phase 345Kilovolt gas circuit breaker is pictured in the foreground.

Withdrawing the product

Product is withdrawn from the cascade in 10-ton USEC-owned cylinders, heated to a liquid state, sampled to ensure product meets all customer specifications, and then transferred into 2.5 ton customer-owned cylinders.

Withdrawal of depleted stream

Depleted uranium is withdrawn from the bottom of the cascade into 48-inch diameter cylinders shown here on scales. Each cylinder contains 14 tons of UF-6.

Product preparation shipping facility

In the Product Preparation Shipping Facility, approximately 1,800 customer cylinders are filled each year with the desired product assay. All cylinders are weighed on the accurate scale located inside to account for all material processed through this facility.

Steam Plant

The Steam Plant provides steam for the enrichment process, heating auxillary buildings, and other purposes. Steam is generated by combinations of three coal-fired boilers.

Cylinder Stacker

This cylinder stacker is used to stack 14-ton cylinders of depleted UF6 in the storage yards.

Plant control facility

All cascade operations and other enrichment activities are monitored from the Plant Control Facility, which has emergency shutdown capability for the process equipment.

Control room instrumentation

Upper-level instrumentation of the Control Room provides monitoring and control instrumentation for portions of the process buildings. Bottom-level instrumentation provides power operations monitoring and control of the switchyards.

Indoor firing range

The Portsmouth site's security program consists of a variety of responsibilities. The indoor firing range is used by protective force personnel to can train and test their skills.

Fire Station

The fire station was built in 1979. The building was occupied in 1984 to cover all plant operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff includes firefighters, shift fire captains, shift training officers, operations officer, fire protection engineers, a chief, and a secretary. Part of their assignment is to maintain all fire suppression systems on plantsite, which include approximately 280 fire hydrants, 460 sprinkler systems, and 4,800 portable fire extinguishers of different types. They also provide medical treatment when the plant medical treatment facility is not staffed on weekends and holidays. The fire department has mutual aid agreements with local fire departments and emergency response groups in Pike County and with Valley Township in Scioto County.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:42:46 ZULU