Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Virtual Museum

X-344 Building

X-344 BuildingConstruction of the X-344 began in 1952 and was completed in 1957. The X-344 was originally designed as a feed manufacturing facility to pro­duce Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) from Uranium Tetrafluoride (UF4). The facility included four fluorination towers, two cleanup reactor towers for scavenging excess fluorine gas, compressors and cold traps to collect the UF6, and cylinder fill stations. The feed manufacturing operations in X-344 ceased in 1962 when the decision was made to obtain feed for the Portsmouth plant from Paducah.

In the early 1970s work began to convert the X-344 to a UF6 sampling facility. Following the conversion the facility was used for: receiving, sampling, and storing uranium materials from licensees, for transferring and delivering this material to the cascade feed facility, for picking up, transferring, and storing product cylinders from the cascade, and for sampling and transferring the UF6 to customer cylinders and shipping to the fabrication facilities. The same facilities were also used for handling government-owned uranium materials; this includes low-assay and very highly enriched product storage.

High-assay cylinder sampling was done in a special room adjacent to the east end of the north high-bay area. Electrically heated containment ­type glove boxes were used in this operation. A vault-like storage room was used for accountability storage of high ­assay UF6 cylinders awaiting sampling and shipping. The high assay UF6 sampling, transfer, storage, and shipping operations were transferred to the new X-345 Building in the ‘80s.

DATE BUILT
original facility complete circa 1957
sampling conversion complete in 1975

SQUARE FEET
40,000 sq. ft. (ground floor), 18,700 sq. ft. (2nd floor) and 4300 sq. ft. (basement)

ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION COST
$8M


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