The Fuel Conditioning Facility (FCF) supports nuclear energy research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other customers. Its unique capabilities make FCF an ideal facility for its primary mission to support treatment of DOE-owned, sodium-bonded metal fuel.
In a secondary role, FCF also supports work to demonstrate the technical feasibility of pyroprocessing technology for treating used nuclear fuel for DOE's Fuel Cycle Research and Development Program. Pyroprocessing is a family of technologies involving high-temperature chemical and electrochemical methods for separation, purification and recovery of fissile elements from used nuclear fuel. FCF has an air-atmosphere cell where fuel assemblies are disassembled into individual fuel elements, an argon- atmosphere cell where the spent fuel elements are prepared and treated, and a hot repair area located in the basement where contaminated equipment can be washed and repaired.
Engineering-scale equipment for treatment of sodium-bonded metallic fuel to deactivate the reactive sodium metal, recover fissionable uranium, and separate fission and activation products for incorporation into solid waste forms suitable for geologic disposal
Systems to support handling of heavily shielded shipping casks for fuel receipt and waste disposal
Hot repair area equipped with remotely operated decontamination equipment, a specialized manipulator repair facility, and other maintenance and waste-handling equipment