OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Alpha 5 Legacy Material Disposition project at the Y-12 National Security Complex recently celebrated the early completion of a significant project milestone. The fourth floor of Alpha 5 has been cleared of 5,430 containers of legacy materials, which includes any equipment and materials not bolted or secured to the facility.

The project is one of Oak Ridge’s 24 Environmental Management projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This phase was scheduled for completion on March 31, 2010, but was in fact completed one week ahead of schedule.

“Reaching this milestone early really sets a positive tone for the work ahead,” said Gerald Boyd, Manager of the Oak Ridge Office. “Give credit to these men and women for the planning, cooperation, and hard work involved in accomplishing this milestone ahead of schedule.”

To accomplish this phase of the project approximately 100 employees from several departments worked intensive two-shift operations to remove and ship the waste containers. The two-shift operation was discontinued after the milestone was met and the team has now moved on to the next phase of the Alpha 5 cleanup, clearing the second floor. All of these containers were transported to the Nevada Test Site.

“This is visible evidence of the continuing environmental cleanup progress that we are making at Y-12 through ARRA funding. I am proud of the work of Y-12 employees to safely complete this first material disposition milestone ahead of schedule,” said Ted Sherry, Y-12 Site Office Manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Alpha 5 is the largest ARRA funded project at Y-12. Built in 1944, Alpha 5 (also known as Building 9201-5) is the largest building at the Y-12 National Security Complex, measuring more than 500, 000 square feet, and was originally intended for separation of enriched uranium. The building is scheduled to be completely emptied by September 30, 2011 and the successful clearing of the fourth floor represents a significant step forward in completing the project.

The Alpha 5 project has an estimated cost of $100 million, which is part of $755 million received by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office Environmental Management program for projects in Oak Ridge.