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New Alarm System Being Installed at DOE Site
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - Officials have begun the process of installing new a new emergency alarm system at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of ongoing cleanup efforts workers have taken steps to reduce the site’s costs for utilities and maintenance. One such step was recently taken by DOE’s Deactivation and Remediation Contractor, Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, LLC when it transitioned the Criticality Accident Alarm System (CAAS) from air horns to electronic horns in the large C-333 and C-337 Process Buildings.

“Electronic horns operate more efficiently than the air horns,” said Paducah Site Lead Jennifer Woodard of DOE’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office. “They are less expensive to test and maintain, while still functioning as an important safety feature at the Paducah Site.” During a power outage, the power supply to the electronic horns is automatically switched to one of several large battery banks in order to maintain alarm capability. Electronic horns do not rely on the plant’s air compressors, which helps to reduce the amount of power needed to operate the
CAAS.

The CAAS was installed in the early 1960s during the height of operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. It was upgraded in the early 1980s and again in 1999. Enrichment operations were very loud and the air horns were needed to be heard over the sound of the process equipment. With enrichment operations ceased, the noise levels were reduced and electronic horns became the preferred option. All air horns will be transitioned across the site by the end of the year.

“Providing adequate safeguards for our workers, the community, and the environment is a top priority as we improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the site’s alarm systems,” said FRNP Program Manager Jeff Bradford. “We will continue to seek ways to safely reduce costs at the Paducah Site.”

Published 09:59 AM, Tuesday May. 21, 2019
Updated 10:04 AM, Tuesday May. 21, 2019

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