US Department of Energy

Oak Ridge completes field work on Recovery Act-projects


Source: US Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (EM) has finished field work on the last Recovery Act-funded environmental cleanup project. Since 2009, EM has used the $751 million in Recovery Act funds to accomplish 27 projects, many of which included multiple subcomponents and extensive scopes.

“This is a landmark milestone for our program locally,” said Mark Whitney, manager of the Oak Ridge Office of EM. “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities these funds provided our program, and our management team did an excellent job of selecting meaningful projects that removed risks and created a significant impact for our region.”

Preparedness and planning were some of the largest contributors that paved the way for Oak Ridge’s success. Before the Recovery Act passed, local managers had identified and planned priority projects across the reservation’s three sites— the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and East Tennessee Technology Park. After the bill’s passage, the EM program already had a listing of “shovel-ready,” or ready-to-go, projects.

Through advanced planning, project management, and oversight, Oak Ridge’s EM program completed the initial projects $100 million below original estimates. This allowed EM to conduct additional projects that addressed immediate cleanup needs at the major sites.

A comprehensive listing of Recovery Act-funded projects is listed below.

East Tennessee Technology Park

Building K-33 demolition and slab and soil removal: Workers demolished the 1.4 million sq. ft. former gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment facility, which was the second largest facility at the East Tennessee Technology Park. The demolition marked the removal of the third former gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment facility at the site. This project also involved removing K-33’s 32-acre slab and removing the contaminated soils beneath the slab. The activities associated with this work included slab and above-ground utility piping demolition, soil removal, waste disposition, and site restoration.

Cost: $78 million

Completion Date: September 2012

Building K-27 demolition preparation: Workers conducted demolition preparation activities in the 383,000 sq. ft. former gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment facility. The pre-demo activities included asbestos abatement, vault cleanout, electrical construction upgrades, lube oil draining and disposal, coolant draining and disposal, and universal waste removal and disposal.

Cost: $26 million

Completion Date: October 2010

Poplar Creek Facility characterization: The Poplar Creek Facility Characterization Project completed sampling and characterization of facilities and process tie lines located in the Poplar Creek and nearby plant area. The sampling and characterization activities support the plan to eventually remove the facilities and transition the East Tennessee technology Park to a commercial industrial park.

Cost: $14 million

Completion Date: September 2013

Y-12 National Security Complex

Alpha 5 and Beta 4 legacy material disposition: The Y-12 Excess Material Disposition Project consisted of two subprojects involving removing legacy material from Alpha 5 and Beta 4. Alpha 5 is a 613,000 sq. ft. facility that was constructed in 1946 and housed uranium enrichment equipment, and Beta 4 is a 313,000 sq. ft. facility that was constructed in 1945 that also housed uranium enrichment equipment. The project moved the buildings closer to being demo-ready, and it included complete characterization, packaging, developing a waste disposition plan, and removing and disposing legacy materials.

Cost: $130 million

Completion Date: September 2011

Y-12 remediation preparation: The Y-12 Remediation Preparation Project allowed EM to complete video inspection of sewers, sewer cleanout and relining at Y-12’s West End Mercury Area. Additionally, it allowed workers to remove and dispose of scrap materials from the Old Salvage Yard.

Cost: $58 million

Completion Date: May 2012

Mercury reduction: The Y-12 Mercury Reduction project consisted of subprojects to reduce risks by removing concentrated pockets of elemental mercury in storm drains and other locations across the site; evaluation and pre-design activities of an outfall water treatment system; mitigation of migration pathways within former process buildings; and performing pre-demolition activities to accelerate demolition and subsequent removal of mercury under buildings.

Cost: $29 million

Completion Date: March 2014

Environmental Management Waste Management Facility expansion: Workers added a fifth cell, or disposal area, at the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility. The expansion was necessary to meet waste disposition requirements for future demolition across the Oak Ridge Reservation. The scope included design support, construction, quality assurance, quality control, and project management and oversight.

Cost: $18 million

Completion Date: August 2010

Y-12 Biology Complex demolition: Through the Biology Complex Demolition Project, workers demolished four of the seven Biology Complex facilities within Y-12. Specifically, Buildings 9211, 9220, 9224, & 9769, which accounted for nearly 136,000 sq. ft., were removed.

Cost: $14 million

Completion Date: February 2011

Y-12 9206 Filter House demolition: The 9206 Filter House was demolished at Y-12. Project was completed under the ARRA Program. The project included all activities for full demolition and waste removal and disposition.

Cost: $11 million

Completion Date: May 2011

Sanitary Landfill expansion: The Sanitary Landfill expansion increased the landfill capacity by 384,500 cubic yards. The scope of this project included engineering, construction, quality assurance testing and reporting, and transition to operations.

Cost: $9 million

Completion Date: May 2011

Y-12 Old Salvage Yard soil remediation: EM used Recovery Act funds to remove all of the scrap materials from the seven-acre Old Salvage Yard. This follow-on project funded soil characterization, soil removal, and site restoration after the scrap material was removed.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: April 2013

Building 9735 demolition: Previously, the 9735 Building was used as a research services laboratory and was contaminated with asbestos and lead. The project funded demolition and reduced EM’s liability for future releases and environmental degradation. The activities included characterization, hazardous material abatement, equipment removal, demolition, and waste disposition.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: June 2010

Exposure Unit 9 (81-10 Area Characterization): The EU-9 soils project characterized the nature and extent of soil contamination in EU-9 and completed a Remedial Design Report for the area.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: August 2012

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Transuranic Waste Processing: The Transuranic Waste Processing Project increased the Office of Environmental Management’s capacity to process contact-handled, containing lower contamination, and remote-handled transuranic waste, which contains higher levels of contamination, at the Oak Ridge Transuranic Waste Processing Center.

Cost: $143.5 million

Completion Date: April 2012

Building 3026 and hot cell demolition: This project demolished Building 3026’s outer wooden superstructure, removed four of the six hot cells, and conducted site stabilization, including isolation, abatement, and demolition of the building down to the slab and weatherproofing the remaining hot cell structures. The facility, formerly known as the Radioisotope Development Laboratory, began operations in 1945. It had been inactive for 20 years and posed significant fire and radiological hazards. Through the project, the building was downgraded from a Hazard Category 3 nuclear facility to a radiological facility.

Cost: $42 million

Completion Date: January 2011

Miscellaneous Facilities Demolition: The ORNL Miscellaneous Facilities Demolition Project consisted of four subprojects—General Maintenance Facilities, Southeast Contaminated Lab Complex, Central Campus Legacy Material, and Small Facilities Project. The project included characterization, developing a waste handling plan, decontamination, and demolition of 34 facilities and structures throughout ORNL’s central campus. The project helped modernize the site and remove contaminated and access buildings to make room for future Science missions.

Cost: $34 million

Completion Date: July 2012

Tank W-1A removal and Melton Valley wells: The scope performed under this project contained two elements— removal of Tank W-1A and adding sentinel wells at Melton Valley. Through excavating the 4,000-gallon Tank W-1A and surrounding soils, EM removed the largest source of groundwater contamination at ORNL. Tank W-1A was commissioned in 1951 to collect and store liquid waste from radiochemical separations and high-radiation analytical facilities at ORNL. During its operation, a transfer line to the tank was suspected of leaking near the tank intake, causing significant soil and groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the tank. It was emptied and removed from service in 1986 after the leak was discovered. The second portion of the scope involved installing offsite wells and groundwater sampling in the Melton Valley area to determine hydrogeological boundaries.

Cost: $31 million

Completion Date: May 2012

Building 3038 legacy materials removal and demolition preparation: This project allowed EM to characterize and remove legacy materials, deactivate the 3038 facility, and perform abatements and equipment removal to prepare the facility for demolition. The 7,773 sq. ft. facility is located in the central campus of ORNL. It was constructed in 1951, and it housed the packaging, inspection and shipping activities for radioisotopes.

Cost: $24 million

Completion Date: February 2013

Bethel Valley Burial Grounds: The Bethel Valley Burial Ground Project remediated a series of sites including Solid Waste Storage Areas 1 and 3, Former Waste Pile Area, Non-Radioactive Wastewater Treatment Plant, Contractor’s Landfill, Closed Scrap Metal Area, and Contaminated Soil Areas. The project remediated these sites and reduced the footprint by 20.6 acres by hydrologically isolating former waste sites, upgrading soil covers, and remediating soil ‘hot spots.’

Cost: $17 million

Completion Date: September 2011

ORNL Waste Operations: The ORNL Waste Operations Project funded the operation of the liquid, gaseous, and process waste treatment facility.

Cost: $15 million

Completion Date: July 2011

Building 4500 Stack Removal: The Building 4500 Stack Removal Project separated six facilities from an old ventilation system that connects to a large stack within ORNL’s central campus. The project improved safety by eliminating the possibility of release from numerous facilities. The project also included installation of new local ventilation systems in four buildings, stabilizing hot cells in Building 4507, and addressing more than 1,500 feet of contaminated underground ductwork.

Cost: $13 million

Completion Date: November 2013

2000 Complex demolition: The 2000 Complex Project included demolition of eight surplus facilities at ORNL, including four radiological facilities and four industrial facilities. The project also included radiological equipment disposal, asbestos containing material removal, and site restoration.

Cost: $9 million

Completion Date: January 2011

Isotope Row characterization and legacy material removal: The project was conducted in the northeast quadrant of the ORNL main campus area. Workers characterized and removed legacy material from the 10 facilities. This project involved facilities and structures that historically served as radioisotope production laboratories and support facilities. Most of these facilities have ceased operations and are shutdown pending demolition.

Cost: $7 million

Completion Date: December 2013

Building 2026 legacy material removal: The ORNL Central Facility Cleanout and Stabilization Project allowed EM to remove and dispose legacy materials and stabilize the hot cells in ORNL’s 2026 and 4501 facilities.

Cost: $7 million

Completion Date: February 2014

Beta 3 characterization: The ORNL Non-Defense Beta 3 Characterization Project included: refurbishing and restoring the engineering systems and equipment necessary to ensure containment capability and safe completion of characterization and legacy material removal activities; characterization and removal of solid and liquid waste remaining in the facility; and completing post-removal radiological surveys, facility hazard categorization analysis, and facility hazard categorization documentation.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: July 2012

West Quad soil remediation: The ORNL Non-Defense West Quad Soil Remediation Project included characterizing slabs and associated concrete structures for waste disposal, removing 18 slabs from previous demolition projects, removing and stabilization associated process waste pipelines, and site restoration.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: September 2012

National Priority List site boundary: The National Priority List Site Boundary Project investigated land parcels throughout the 33,500-acre Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The project clearly defined the areas that require cleanup. Through numerous samples and surveys, 19,393 acres were deemed clean and require no action. By meeting regulatory standards, these parcels do not require cleanup and may have possibilities for future mission work and economic development.

Cost: $3 million

Completion Date: September 2012

(Note: The project costs currently total $748 million. There will be additional costs associated with these projects due to rate adjustments as EM closes projects and conducts final audits, bringing the final estimated cost to $751 million.)

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