When the DC Cook Nuclear Plant replaced its turbines and corresponding outer casings, which were close to 100 yards in length, it created a unique but crucial decontamination project need for the obsolete turbines. These large components were too large and heavy for long-distance trucking, but required shipment to UniTech’s Oak Ridge Service Center (ORSC) for final disposition.
To serve DC Cook’s unique decontamination need, UniTech implemented a transportation process that will conquer challenges for other nuclear facilities going forward. Utilizing the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee navigable river systems, turbine components were floated by barge in late September — all the way from Michigan to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After four weeks of floating, the barge was received by UniTech at its barge access area just a half mile from its facility.
UniTech then decontaminated 1.6 million lbs. of turbine components for unrestricted release. Ultimately, UniTech segmented and recycled these unique metal pieces for final disposition. The project was completed in early December.
Before the DC Cook project, the East Tennessee Technology Park barge access area had been out of service for decades. To reopen the access area and make this project possible, UniTech partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee. The dock is now fully operational, and UniTech will utilize it to fulfill other large-component shipping needs from nuclear facilities across the U.S.
“Barge access opens a world of possibilities in our handling of large or hard-to-ship pieces of tooling and equipment,” said UniTech Project Manager Jeff Wilson. “Most nuclear plants have riverway access for barge shipment, and we have industry-leading expertise at UniTech to assure successful segmentation and final disposition of your most challenging decontaminated components. The anytime availability of our barge access area and its proximity to our facility make for an exciting capability that will benefit UniTech customers.”
Between the Candu tool decontamination project and the DC Cook project, UniTech completed the final stages of two unique decontamination projects in December, totaling 4.1 million lbs. of materials.
Have a question about UniTech’s expertise and capacity? Contact Jeff Wilson at (815) 341-1501 or jwilson@UniTechUS.com.