K-311-1/K-310-3 Purge Cascade Process Description, Oak Ridge Environmental Management Accelerated Cleanup Project, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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K-311-1 was constructed along with the rest of the K-25 Building in the 1943-1945 timeframe. K-311-1 was equipped with Size 3 converters and Size 38 Allis Chalmers{trademark} single-stage centrifugal compressors driven by 3600 rpm electric motors, and the unit operated as the 'bottom' unit flow-wise in K-25. The depleted flow from the bottom stage in K-311-1 passed through booster compressors and flowed to the K-601 Building where the depleted or 'tails' material was removed. In 1948, after the K-27 Building was completed, the decision was made to operate K-27 and K-25 in series rather than operate the two buildings as ... continued below

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J.E., Shoemaker May 13, 2009.

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Description

K-311-1 was constructed along with the rest of the K-25 Building in the 1943-1945 timeframe. K-311-1 was equipped with Size 3 converters and Size 38 Allis Chalmers{trademark} single-stage centrifugal compressors driven by 3600 rpm electric motors, and the unit operated as the 'bottom' unit flow-wise in K-25. The depleted flow from the bottom stage in K-311-1 passed through booster compressors and flowed to the K-601 Building where the depleted or 'tails' material was removed. In 1948, after the K-27 Building was completed, the decision was made to operate K-27 and K-25 in series rather than operate the two buildings as separate entities. To facilitate this operation, concrete bases were poured and two sets of booster compressors were installed in the extreme West end of the K-311-1 cell floor. These compressors were enclosed in heated housings and consisted of Size 38 compressors. One pair was to boost the 'B' flow between K-25 and K-27, and one pair was to boost the 'A' flow between the buildings. Each station operated with one compressor on-stream and the other in standby. (Reference 9) Each station also was equipped with a Size 2 after-cooler located in the discharge stream downstream of the junction of the onstream and standby compressors. Additional gaseous diffusion capacity was added at Oak Ridge as K-29, K-31, and K-33 were constructed and placed in service in the early 1950s. As a result of the additional process equipment added by these buildings, in-leakage of light gases to the cascade including light gases introduced into the cascade as a result of purging operations threatened to exceed the capacity of the existing K-312 Purge Cascade facilities in the K-25 Building. As a result, in 1954 K-311-1 was converted to a side purge cascade to remove light gases from the process gas stream as the stream entered K-25 from K-27. Low molecular weight gas in-leakage in K-33, K-31, K-29, and K-27 was removed by the K-311-1 Side Purge Facility and a relatively pure stream of UF6 then passed from K-311-1 into the upstream cells in K-25. In-leakage of light gases in the K-25 Building continued to be removed by the K-312 Purge Facilities. K-311-1 operated as a Side Purge Cascade from 1954 until the K-25 Building was shut down in 1964; at that time K-311-1 became the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (ORGDP) Top (and only) Purge Cascade. The adjacent K-310-3 Unit was operated along with K-311-1 as the top purge cascade and K-310-2 was also operated at times to supplement cells in the K311-1/K-310-3 Purge Cascade. K-311-1 was shut down on February 14, 1977, after the newer, larger capacity K-402-9 Purge Cascade was placed in operation. K-310-3 continued to operate until the K-402-8 Coolant Removal Unit was placed in service, and K-310-3 was shut down on March 14, 1978. Since the K-311-1 and K-310-3 units continued to operate after K-25 shutdown, removal of equipment such as valves and piping for other projects did not occur in this area. As a result, these two units have not been exposed to atmospheric wet air over the years as much of the remainder of K-25 has been exposed. Any deposits or residual gases contained in K-311-1 or K-310-3 are not likely to be fully hydrolyzed.

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  • Report No.: BJC/OR-3252
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-98OR22700
  • DOI: 10.2172/984474 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 984474
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014500

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  • May 13, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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J.E., Shoemaker. K-311-1/K-310-3 Purge Cascade Process Description, Oak Ridge Environmental Management Accelerated Cleanup Project, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, report, May 13, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014500/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.