Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Oak Ridge's EM contractor URS | CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC (UCOR) started demolition on the north end of the K-25 Building today, signifying the next major step toward completing demolition of the Manhattan Project-era building.
The K-25 Building, located at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), was composed of three major sections—the east and west wings and the north end—which were aligned in a “U” shape that was more than a mile around. The north end forms the base of the “U” and is the smallest of the three sections.
Demolition of the west and east wings is complete, with the exception of a small section of the east wing that requires further deactivation due to the presence of technetium-99 (Tc-99), a slowdecaying radioactive metal. Previous plans called for the north end to be preserved for historic purposes, but in July, federal, state, and local historic preservation groups signed an agreement establishing an alternative plan that allows the north end to be demolished, while still recognizing the historic significance of the site.
“This is a tremendous day for employees,” said Leo Sain, UCOR President and Project Manager. “We have been working toward this since we arrived at ETTP, and it’s a testament to people here, at the Department of Energy, and at all the agencies who worked together to make this happen.”
The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management anticipates the demolition of the north end to be complete in January. Following the removal of the north end, workers will continue predemolition activities in the remaining Tc-99 area of K-25’s east wing.
“Completing demolition of the K-25 Building is our highest priority, and this is another significant step toward that goal,” said Mark Whitney, Oak Ridge’s EM manager.