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Workers Demolish Coal-fired Steam Plant at EM's Portsmouth Site

September 18, 2013 - 12:00pm

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A high-pressure water cannon is used to control dust for the demolition of the X-600 Steam Plant.

A high-pressure water cannon is used to control dust for the demolition of the X-600 Steam Plant.

One of three large smoke stacks comes down during the demolition.

One of three large smoke stacks comes down during the demolition.

A high-pressure water cannon is used to control dust for the demolition of the X-600 Steam Plant.
One of three large smoke stacks comes down during the demolition.

PIKETON, Ohio – Towering above most nearby buildings, the X-600 Coal-fired Steam Plant had been part of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) since 1953, providing enough heat to operate three massive process buildings and numerous maintenance and support buildings.

This landmark is now gone. Crews recently finished knocking down the steam plant ahead of schedule as part of a major decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) project at the site.

“The X-600 served the Portsmouth GDP very well throughout its operational life,” DOE Site Director Dr. Vince Adams said. “The D&D of this facility is another important milestone in our preparation of the former GDP site for use in the future. We commend the generations of workers who kept the old plant running for six decades.”

The X-600 was replaced in October 2012 by a gas-fired steam plant known as the X-690. The new plant has a much smaller carbon footprint and operates with fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected to save about $2 million in operating and maintenance costs in its first year of operation.

EM oversees the D&D of more than 400 Cold War buildings and systems that made up the GDP in the past 60 years. The GDP enriched uranium, initially for the Defense Department and later for the nuclear fuel industry. In 2010, DOE awarded Fluor-B&W Portsmouth a contract to safely clean up the GDP to prepare for reuse.

Crews from MCM Industrial Services of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., a subcontractor to Fluor-B&W, conducted the steam plant demolition. Ranked as one of the country’s top 10 demolition contractors, MCM was subcontracted to dismantle and remove more than 20,000 square feet of buildings at the site.

Most debris from the old steam plant consists of structural steel and concrete, which will be sorted and surveyed for potential contamination. Sanitary waste will be placed in containers and transported to an offsite disposal facility. Several local union workers have been trained and hired to conduct asbestos abatement.

Before the X-600 was shut down last October, it burned three truckloads of coal daily. At its peak, the X-600 handled up to 18 loads of coal per day, providing 92,000 pounds of steam per hour from each of the three boilers.

 

 

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