OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – A new era of cleanup begins this week as United Cleanup Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) undertakes the $8.3 billion Oak Ridge Reservation Cleanup Contract.
UCOR has been a familiar name in Oak Ridge since 2011. As an Amentum-led partnership with Jacobs, it successfully closed out the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) cleanup contract more than $100 million under budget. Now, with an additional partner, Honeywell, the newly configured UCOR is positioned to continue its successful performance at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
“When we won the initial contract, we brought some exceptional talent to Oak Ridge that complemented the conscientious and dedicated workforce already here,” said UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter. “During our 11-plus years of safely cleaning up ETTP and other Reservation sites, we have learned a lot and are bringing that knowledge and experience into the new contract.”
DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation contains three main sites: Y-12, ORNL, and ETTP (the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant). The previous UCOR contract focused mainly on cleanup at ETTP, a former uranium enrichment plant that was closed in 1987. The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and UCOR achieved the first ever cleanup of an enrichment complex in 2020 when crews finished all demolition at the site.
The new contract focuses on the removal of unneeded and contaminated buildings at ORNL and Y-12, but it will also continue soil and groundwater remediation efforts at ETTP. Together, ORNL and Y-12 contain DOE’s largest inventory of high-risk excess contaminated facilities, and under this contract UCOR will eliminate significant risks by demolishing many of these structures.
“Demolishing these structures is essential to reducing risks, enhancing safety, protecting the environment, and opening land that can support research and national security missions at these sites,” said OREM acting manager Laura Wilkerson. “This work will be transformative to the region by creating new economic opportunities for the community and enabling ongoing missions for DOE.”
Reinforcing this contract, OREM and UCOR signed a partnering agreement this week that details project goals and reinforces a collaborative work arrangement. The agreement focuses on safely delivering beneficial end states—in alignment with stakeholders and with full transparency—with a commitment to sustainability, climate management, environmental justice, and diversity.