OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Demolition of the largest facility still standing at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) is underway. Workers began tearing down Building K-1037 at the former uranium enrichment complex earlier this week. Watch a video about the project here.
“Removing the largest remaining building at ETTP radically changes the skyline, and it moves us forward in our efforts to complete all major demolition next year,” said Jay Mullis, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM). “When we complete this project, the building’s footprint will be a grassy area that will be available for reuse and redevelopment by the private sector in the future.”
OREM and cleanup contractor UCOR have spent the past several months deactivating the facility to prepare it for demolition — removing equipment and waste, performing asbestos abatement, and disconnecting utilities. The demolition is expected to be completed later this year.
The original structure was built in 1945. Through the years, additions to the facility brought its square footage to approximately 380,000 square feet.
As one of the earliest structures at the site, Building K-1037 was originally a warehouse, but it was later used to produce barrier material used in the gaseous diffusion process until 1982. In 1991, the high bay areas of the facility were remodeled to develop the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation Product Conversion Demonstration Facility, a new form of uranium enrichment technology.
Uranium enrichment operations ceased at the site in the mid-1980s, when it was known as the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Since then, OREM has taken down more than 400 facilities and transferred nearly 1,300 acres from government ownership in its goal to convert the site into a privately-owned and operated industrial park known as ETTP.
OREM is working to complete all major building demolitions at ETTP by the end of next year — a goal known as Vision 2020. The area also boasts a 3,000-acre conservation easement, and work is underway to open the K-25 History Center later this year. The center preserves and shares the site’s rich history and role during World War II’s Manhattan Project.
“Since UCOR took over the ETTP cleanup contract in 2011, we have seen significant changes throughout the site as numerous facilities have been demolished and privatization efforts move forward,” UCOR President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Rueter said. “Demolition of K-1037 will be another milestone that significantly advances us toward completing cleanup and transformation of the site.”