Dr. Bobby G. Russell named new BWCS chief engineer


Lexington, KY (July 1, 2014)  -- Bobby G. Russell, Ph.D., formerly division engineering manager of B&W Pantex, has been named chief engineer of Babcock & Wilcox Conversion Services, LLC (BWCS) starting immediately.  The announcement was made by John Woolery, president and project manager of BWCS.

BWCS is the Department of Energy contractor on the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) Conversion Project, reporting to the Department’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office in Lexington, KY.

“Bobby brings ideal engineering capability in nuclear operations to this position, with more than 20 years of engineering and operations experience under the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Woolery said.  Russell’s portfolio at Pantex included all aspects of nuclear operations:  process engineering, authorization basis, system engineering, tooling and tester design, and engineering document control.  

Russell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Southwestern College, an M.S. in chemistry from West Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the University of Dayton.

As chief engineer, Russell replaces Kent Fortenberry, who left BWCS at the end of May.


BW Conversion Services Status/NewsBW Conversion Services OperationsBW Conversion Services DUF6 Process


Babcock & Wilcox Conversion Service LLC (BWCS) is the project management and plant operating contractor for the DUF6 Project to convert more than 700,000 metric tons of DUF6 (depleted uranium hexafluoride) into depleted uranium oxide, a more stable chemical form that can be reused, stored, or disposed of.

The DUF6 Project is overseen by the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO) of the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM).

The DUF6 is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process conducted at U.S. gaseous diffusion enrichment plants in Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, and Oak Ridge, TN. It is temporarily stored in a total of about 63,000 steel cylinders at the Paducah, KY and Piketon, OH conversion plants. In its present chemical form, it is chemically corrosive; the Department of Energy intends to convert the material for reuse, storage or disposal.  A byproduct of the conversion process is Hydrofluoric Acid (HF), which can be reused industrially.

BWCS was formed by Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group and URS Energy and Construction and won the five-year $428 million operating contract in late 2010. After a successful 85-day transition,  BWCS assumed the management and operating contract for the newly-constructed DUF6 plants at Paducah and Piketon on March 29, 2011.