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USEC Inc. Message Board

  • nautica684 nautica684 Feb 25, 2000 10:46 AM Flag

    Curious

    How can Paducah say they can produce SWU at below
    Portsmouth SWU cost. If Paducah is only producing SWU to 2 -
    2.5% and Ports produces upto 5.5%, then Paducah would
    produce for less but the customer could not use it. You
    have to compare apples to apples not apples to
    oranges.

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    • As a supplement to the EUPMAN reply, note that
      the gaseous diffusion stages are also enclosed by
      heated enclosures during operations that maintain
      temperatures at about 200F. In addition to the low pressures,
      the temperature also ensures that no solid UF6 is in
      the system. I assume that prior to taking a stage
      completely offline for maintenance, pressures and
      temperatures would be maintained and as much UF6 as possible
      would be drawn out of the equipment by sublimation.

    • eupman, thanks very much for your post. It was
      enlightening even though it is high school
      level.

      shadowodie, we are off on a tangent discussing a complely
      irrelevant subject. It's about as relevant as how many
      angels can stand on the head of a straight pin. Suggest
      we drop it and get on to the more important issues
      at hand.

    • http://vzajic.tripod.com/2ndchapter.html

      A chapter of some sort on depleted uranium; there are some details of UF6 and gaseous diffusion, though...

    • At room temperature and pressure the UF6 is a
      solid. However, UF6 is a very strange substance and it
      doesn't take much change in temp or pressure for it to
      exist in any form ie solid, liquid and gas or even all
      3 at once. UF6 normally goes straight from a solid
      to a gas, missing out the liquid phase. This is
      achieved by either raising the temperature a little or by
      reducing the pressure a little. As any large plant
      handling UF6 gas is difficult to keep hot the standard
      practice is operate them under a vacumn. Thus UF6 remains
      a gas even at room temperature.

      I don't
      think this is a secret and can probably be found in any
      general high school chemistry book.

    • There is a lack of detailed information available
      to the general public on HOW the diffusion operation
      actually works. Some "how do you" questions start getting
      into the proprietary and need to know information area
      and need to go through the PR department. I'm not
      trying to avoid your questions, it's just not worth the
      risk of getting canned for the unauthorized release of
      information. I'm sure there are individuals on this board who
      wouldn't hesitate to answer, but I'm not one of them.

      The Paducah web site supplies a little more detailed
      information than the Portsmouth one does and there is an
      Enrichment Process link at the bottom.

    • Wouldldn't the UF6 go solid at room temperatures?
      How do you heat up the entire cascade at the same
      time? How do you run the turbines and the pumps with
      solid material inside? I'm not trying to be cute. These
      are just intuitive questions.

    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_659000/659309.stm

      Includes Taylor's alleged golden parachute...

    • The physical restart, from an extended shutdown, wouldn't be a problem. The biggest hurdle to clear would be the paperwork and approval from the appropriate regulatory agencies.

    • I hope this is not already reported but I just
      heard that BNFL's CEO, John Taylor, has just resigned
      over the BNFL MOX fabrification quality cover-up with
      the Japenese. (Well, people were saying someone high
      up had to fall on the old ceremonial swaord.)

    • Yes, that's why I'm interested in what's being
      offered in the way of tax breaks, guarantees, etc.--it
      sounds unlikely at this point that USEC would be very
      successful going to Sam's Pawns (or wherever) and getting
      the $$$ without some federal/state financial
      backing--the deal with AVLIS was "who's going to make us the
      best offer?" You're a bank--are you going to loan USEC
      money at any kind of reasonable rate to build a plant?
      What's your collateral? With USEC's stock price falling
      and paper turning into "junk bonds", it will make it
      pretty difficult to get loans without strong backing...?
      Or am I missing something?

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