Aerial view of treatment plan construction

A view of construction on the Mercury Treatment Facility’s treatment plant. This essential piece of infrastructure will allow OREM to begin large-scale cleanup at Y-12.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) has tasked United Cleanup Oak Ridge, LLC (UCOR) with completing construction of the Mercury Treatment Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

DOE awarded APTIM-North Wind Construction (ANW) a contract in December 2018 to construct the facility, and with that contract set to expire next month, OREM is transitioning the remaining construction to UCOR, who is responsible for commissioning and operating the facility.

“UCOR has been involved with this project from the beginning, having provided significant design and engineering support,” said OREM Manager Jay Mullis. “Since UCOR is already tasked with commissioning and operating the facility, tasking them to complete the remaining construction allows for a smooth transition to the next phase of this important project.”

The Mercury Treatment Facility is an essential piece of infrastructure that allows OREM to fulfill its regulatory commitments to reduce mercury levels in the East Fork Poplar Creek and begin large-scale cleanup at Y-12. When operational, the facility will limit and control potential mercury releases as crews demolish massive Manhattan Project and Cold War-era buildings and address the soil beneath them.

The project encompasses two components at two locations: a headworks facility and a treatment plant, both connected by a nearly mile-long transfer pipeline.

The headworks facility will capture creek flow on the west end of Y-12, store excess stormwater collected during large rainfalls, remove grit, and pump water via the pipeline to the treatment plant on the east side of Y-12. That treated water will then flow into the East Fork Poplar Creek.

The Mercury Treatment Facility is designed to treat up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute and includes a 2-million-gallon storage tank to collect stormwater.