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The U.S. Department of Energy’s demolition of Building K-25’s east wing began last month.
The former uranium enrichment facility at East Tennessee Technology Park was once the world’s largest building under one roof, covering more than 44 acres.
The project is one of DOE’s highest environmental management priorities in Oak Ridge and an integral component to completing cleanup of the technology park.
“We are excited to begin this phase of the project,” said John Eschenberg, the Oak Ridge Office’s acting deputy manager and assistant manager for enviornmental management.
“The result of our hard work during the past many months allows us to begin this demolition sooner than expected,” he added.
“We are intently focused and looking forward to the successful completion of this work.”
Demolition of the superstructure’s west wing, measuring 844,000 square feet, concluded in January 2010.
Since then, Bechtel Jacobs Co. has performed cleanout and predemolition activities in the neighboring east wing.
“Over the past 18 months, BJC has generated almost $45 million in savings that enabled us to safely accelerate the K-25 schedule to the point that allowed east wing demolition to begin today,” said Bechtel Jacobs President Joe Nemec.
“This accomplishment provides a firm foundation for completing demolition of K-25, and is a credit to our project team,” he added.
The demolition, which began July 21, separates the east wing’s technetium-99 contaminated area, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of the facility, from the remainder of the structure.
This allows for demolition to progress as workers continue preparation activities in the areas containing technetium-99.
Bechtel Jacobs began the demolition, but effective today, Aug. 1, URS/CH2M Oak Ridge is DOE’s primary environmental cleanup contractor and assume all demolition responsibilities.
UCOR was awarded the cleanup contract in April and has been heavily involved in transition activities with DOE and Bechtel Jacobs since that time.
K-25 was constructed in 1944,
as part of the Manhattan Project,
to develop the first atomic wea-
The superstructure enriched uranium for defense and commercial nuclear power uses until 1985. It was permanently shut down in 1987.