View of the 30,000-acre Oak Ridge Reservation

A view of the 30,000-acre Oak Ridge Reservation, with its three major sites highlighted - Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, and the East Tennessee Technology Park.

Unlike many EM cleanup sites in the DOE complex, Oak Ridge is a multi-program site where the National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Science also perform missions. EM’s work across the Oak Ridge Reservation enables this crucial ongoing work that is advancing scientific discovery, technological advancements, and national defense for our nation.

We are in the final stages of cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park. Crews removed more than 500 facilities associated with 40 years of uranium enrichment and production. All soil excavations are scheduled to be complete in 2024, and the focus will pivot to addressing impacted groundwater. EM is transferring cleaned land back at the site to the community for redevelopment to strengthen the regional economy. EM’s work has transformed the site into a multi-use industrial center, historical park, and conservation area for the community.

The next major phase of cleanup is focusing on the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There are decades of cleanup remaining at those sites, including the demolition of more than 300 structures.

The Y-12 National Security Complex is one of the nation’s most important national security assets. EM will address and remove the 700,000 pounds of mercury that leaked into buildings and the environment during past operations. The EM program will also demolish the site’s outdated, contaminated facilities onsite which will enhance safety, enable modernization, and open land for new facilities to support national security missions.

EM is also eliminating inventories of radiological waste and removing former reactor facilities and isotope labs in the older, central campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As EM cleans the site, it is clearing away environmental and safety hazards and opening valuable real estate for ongoing missions and research at the site.