OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – A basin that once held cooling water used in Oak Ridge’s former uranium enrichment operations is being demolished as EM works to complete cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). Watch a video of the project here.
Workers have begun demolishing the K-832 basin in the Poplar Creek area at ETTP. It was used in conjunction with a pumphouse and cooling tower, both of which were demolished by EM crews in 2017.
The below-ground basin contained more than 2 million gallons of nonradioactive water. Oak Ridge cleanup contractor UCOR pumped out most of the water to prepare for demolition.
Workers shifted the remaining water to one end of the basin to continue dewatering as crews begin demolition on the other side of it. Remediation of the basin site is expected to wrap up early next year.
“EM and UCOR finished removing all of the major buildings in the Poplar Creek area earlier this fall, and now we are able to address the slabs and underground structures left behind,” said James Daffron, acting ETTP portfolio federal project director. “Removal of this basin is another step in restoring the environment and transforming ETTP.”
Crews finished taking down the last of the 11 main buildings in the Poplar Creek area in September. That effort, which began in 2017, eliminated the most contaminated facilities remaining at the ETTP and removed the last of the buildings associated with the site’s gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment operations.
In October, crews finished a remediation project in the Poplar Creek area that addressed subsurface structures and soil.
Demolishing the basin is part of EM’s broader objective to finish major cleanup at ETTP by the end of next year — a goal known as Vision 2020. Environmental cleanup at ETTP is removing risks, transforming the landscape, and enabling land transfers that open the door for new economic development.
EM’s ultimate vision for ETTP is a multi-use industrial park for industry, historic preservation attractions, and conservation areas.