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The 516-T, nicknamed the “spider,” included multiple conveyor belts carrying soil through a series of screens to sift bullet debris from the soil of the former outdoor firing range on the EM reservation.

The 516-T, nicknamed the “spider,” included multiple conveyor belts carrying soil through a series of screens to sift bullet debris from the soil of the former outdoor firing range on the EM reservation.

The X-114A Outdoor Firing Range prior to demolition. The range had served as a training facility for the site's protective force personnel since the early 1990s.

The X-114A Outdoor Firing Range prior to demolition. The range had served as a training facility for the site's protective force personnel since the early 1990s.

Crews work to finalize the demolition and soil cleanup of the X-114A Outdoor Firing Range

Crews work to finalize the demolition and soil cleanup of the X-114A Outdoor Firing Range

A view of the site of the former X-114A Firing Range. The berms and stockpile area of the range were reseeded to prevent soil erosion.

A view of the site of the former X-114A Firing Range. The berms and stockpile area of the range were reseeded to prevent soil erosion.

PIKETON, Ohio – Workers removed an unusual facility to make way for a new disposal site as part of decontamination and decommissioning of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in southern Ohio.

   The X-114A Outdoor Firing Range occupied more than seven acres isolated in a wooded area in the northeastern corner of the 3,700-acre reservation. It spanned the length of two football fields end to end, and served as a training range for the site’s protective force personnel.

   Since most of the facility was outdoors, one might assume there was not a lot to remove, but a firing range that has been operational for a quarter century includes a lot of lead projectiles. To “get the lead out,” crews used special sifting equipment to separate and remove old bullets. The soil was then treated and stabilized to remove residual lead.

   In May 2016, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency granted approval for deactivation and demolition work to begin. Demolition activities included removing a small block and metal building, footers, foundation, fencing, six overhead metal baffles, corrugated drain pipe and concrete sidewalks. Sixteen roll-off containers of scrap metal were transferred to the local community reuse organization, Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI), for recycling. Ninety-four truckloads of other clean demolition debris were transferred to a local sanitation company for off-site disposal. 

   The range was removed to help make way for the On-site Waste Disposal Facility (OSWDF). As work proceeds on the gaseous diffusion plant’s decontamination and decommissioning, the specially designed facility will house wastes that meet certain criteria from those buildings, primarily rubble and debris. In all, more than 300 Cold War-era buildings and systems will be removed as EM makes appropriate portions of the site available for future development. Materials not meeting waste acceptance criteria will be shipped off-site for permanent disposal.

   “Now that the area has been cleared of debris, the previously processed soil stockpiled in the area can be used, as needed, for the protective layer on the first cell liner of the OSWDF when it is built and ready for waste placement,” EM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Facility Representative Jeremy Davis said. “The OSWDF will be comprised of individual cells that include the waste as well as packing soil to fill in spaces around each placement.”

   Frank Miller, OSWDF project director with Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, EM’s cleanup contractor, recognized the project team for their success.

   “This demolition project represents a key step in the overall construction of the OSWDF, as [the X-114A] was the single structure that stood right in the middle of our Infrastructure Support Area,” Miller said.

   “With it now safely removed, we are ready to proceed with regrading in that area. I am proud to have such a high-quality team that made this such an effective project without a single safety incident.”