OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – 2020 is set to be a historic year for DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM).
Crews are scheduled to complete major cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) and begin multiple demolition projects on high-risk excess contaminated facilities at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12).
The end of major cleanup at ETTP this year marks the first removal of an enrichment complex in the world. ETTP also is the first former Manhattan Project site where EM will complete cleanup.
The work at ETTP closes a chapter that began in 1943, but it opens new ones that include opportunities for the community. Together, OREM and cleanup contractor UCOR are converting the site into a multi-use industrial park, national park, and conservation area.
To date, OREM has taken down facilities spanning 12 million square feet, transferred more than 1,200 acres for economic development, set aside more than 100 acres for historic preservation, and placed more than 3,000 acres in conservation for community recreational use.
OREM also is completing projects that commemorate the value of past work conducted at ETTP. Early this year, OREM is set to open the 7,500-square-foot K-25 History Center, featuring stories of the workers who helped build the site, operate the facilities, and end World War II and the Cold War.
“This year, employees will achieve our ambitious goal at ETTP and initiate significant demolition projects at Y-12 and ORNL,” OREM Manager Jay Mullis said. “Our progress is enabling new chapters for former government-owned land, enhancing safety, and supporting DOE’s scientific research and national security missions in Oak Ridge.”
This year also ushers in big changes at ORNL and Y-12 as OREM and UCOR address facilities on DOE’s high-risk excess contaminated facility list.
Crews are set to demolish the two remaining structures associated with Building 3026. These structures are located in the heart of ORNL’s central campus, adjacent to the construction site for a new $95 million research facility. This project opens land to future research missions.
At Y-12, workers will begin tearing down five remaining Biology Complex buildings. This project removes significantly deteriorated facilities that present numerous structural hazards, clearing space for future national security missions.
A skilled workforce enables OREM to maintain momentum for the year ahead. As work comes to an end at ETTP, crews will transition to Y-12 to prepare for deactivation activities in massive Manhattan Project and Cold War facilities, specifically Alpha 2 and Beta 1.
“We are excited to have such a meaningful accomplishment on the horizon, and we are eager to begin new projects that will continue Oak Ridge’s transformation,” Mullis said. “We are looking forward to a very strong year that will make a visible and meaningful difference.”