Readying Alpha-2 for spring demolition Old Steam Plant at Y-12 to go down too

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Environmental management crews have completed major deactivation efforts on a Manhattan Project-era facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The building, Alpha-2, is scheduled for demolition next spring.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and contractor UCOR completed the efforts this month at the multi-story former uranium enrichment facility, which spans nearly 325,000 square feet. The work had started in 2020.

Environmental management’s deactivation and demolition (D&D) work at Oak Ridge presents unique challenges amid ongoing missions at Y-12, according to a UCOR news release. Alpha-2 is co-located with other active facilities at Y-12, requiring utilities to be rerouted prior to demolition. UCOR has been working closely with Y-12 management and operations contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) on that task.“Our close collaboration with CNS has allowed us to move our D&D mission forward while they continue their operating missions in close proximity to one another,” said UCOR Project Manager William Lloyd. “The result is a strengthened partnership and continued mission success for both.”

A precursor to demolition, deactivation is the process of placing an excess facility into a stable condition to minimize existing risks and protect workers, the public and the environment.
Asbestos-contaminated piping, floor and ceiling tiles removed for safety

Before the Alpha-2 demolition begins next year, workers must deactivate the basement and reroute nearby utilities. UCOR is helping CNS create a design for the rerouting, which will also enable demolition of the Old Steam Plant at Y-12. EM crews finished preparing the plant for teardown in 2021.

Deactivation at Alpha-2 included clearing asbestos-contaminated piping, removing floor and ceiling tiles and draining oil from equipment. To date, crews have disposed of nearly 3,000 cubic yards of waste and removed 280,000 pounds of lead-shielding blocks.

UCOR is on schedule to complete the basement deactivation work later this year and begin demolition in the spring.

Tearing down Alpha-2 will eliminate a hazard from Oak Ridge and provide land for reuse at Y-12.

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