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News Releases

Y-12 Highly Enriched Uranium Manufacturing Facility Dedicated

23 March 2010

The new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF) at the Y-12 National Security Complex was formally dedicated in a ceremony yesterday attended by approximately 200 Administration officials, elected officials and representatives from the community, as well as about 800 B&W Y-12 employees. Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC (B&W Y-12) has worked in cooperation with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to achieve millions of dollars in cost savings through an expedited transfer of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to the new facility.

"Successfully completing construction and then drastically reducing the time needed to transfer materials is a significant accomplishment for B&W Y-12 in supporting the NNSA's mission of protecting the nation's HEU supply," said S. Robert Cochran, President, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc. "Having Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu, NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino and so many other officials at the dedication ceremony is a testament to how vital this facility is to national security and energy initiatives."

Acting on a request by NNSA's Y-12 Site Office, B&W Y-12 is currently loading HEU into the HEUMF under an accelerated plan of 90 days rather than the 13 months that was originally projected, saving approximately $26 million in security costs. More than half the HEU is already loaded, putting the transfer well ahead of schedule. The $549 million HEUMF was authorized in January 2010 to begin operations to house thousands of containers of material, ensuring the storage and processing of all HEU is fulfilled in one centralized, highly secure location.

"We are extremely proud of B&W Y-12's workforce and management for safely expediting the operational readiness of HEUMF and the safe loading of the facility," said Darrel Kohlhorst, B&W Y-12 President and General Manager. "This was a great day for everyone at the site, and it demonstrates what happens when people work together to accomplish an important goal."

The enriched uranium stored at HEUMF will be used for maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent and as a source of fuel for the Naval Reactors program. Other uses of the material include downblended fuel for commercial, research or medical isotope production reactors.

About The Babcock & Wilcox Company

Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc. is an operating unit of The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W), a subsidiary of McDermott International, Inc. B&W is a leader in advanced energy technology innovation and service, primarily in nuclear and fossil power. Providing quality products and technical services to commercial and government customers, B&W is focused on issues such as energy efficiency, clean air, global market competitiveness, and safe and secure resolution for nuclear waste. B&W has locations worldwide and employs more than 20,000 people. The company is located on the Internet at www.babcock.com.


B&W Contact:
Jud Simmons
The Babcock & Wilcox Company