The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) is being built at the Y-12 National Security Complex by Consolidated Nuclear Security, an LLC of which Bechtel is a majority partner. The design and construction is subcontracted to Bechtel’s U.S. government services company and will be a multi-building, state of the art complex for enriched uranium operations related to nuclear security. It will not only ensure the long-term viability, safety, and security of the enriched uranium capability in the U.S. but also support the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, the downblending of uranium to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and provide uranium for fuel for U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers. Currently, these unique capabilities reside in aging World War II and Cold War-era buildings that are inefficient and costly to operate and maintain.
At an estimated $6.5 billion, UPF is one of the Department of Energy’s largest investments in Tennessee since the Manhattan Project and one of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s largest construction projects. Modern safety standards, security and flexibility are key design attributes. Once UPF is in full operations, the U.S. will not only reap the benefits of a new uranium processing facility, it will also save millions every year by significantly lowering operating and maintenance costs.