For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Williams
Contact: Wayne McKinney
Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Today, the Department of Energy announced that it has completed
demolition of the K‐25 gaseous diffusion building, the largest facility in the DOE complex. The
five year demolition project was completed ahead of schedule and all debris shipments are
expected to be completed in spring 2014.
The K‐25 building, located at the East Tennessee Technology Park, formerly known as the Oak
Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was built in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project. At the time
of the Manhattan Project, K‐25 was the world’s largest building under one roof. Today, the
Department of Energy has successfully completed its largest‐ever demolition project.
“Today marks a tremendous accomplishment for the American people – advancing our
commitment to the safe and complete cleanup of former Manhattan Project sites,” said Deputy
Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “While there is still important clean‐up work to do,
completing the demolition of the K‐25 gaseous diffusion building and doing so ahead of
schedule and under budget is a testament to the outstanding Oak Ridge workforce.”
The K‐25 building operated until 1964, producing enriched uranium for defense and commercial
purposes. During the past decades, as the facility deteriorated, its demolition was considered
among the highest priorities for the environmental cleanup program in Oak Ridge. With the
demolition of the K‐25 building, only two of the five original gaseous diffusion buildings remain.
The K‐25 building demolition project began in December 2008, when Bechtel Jacobs Company
LLC, completed demolition of the west wing. URS|CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC, or UCOR, took over
the project in August 2011 and successfully completed demolition of the building’s east wing
and north end.
“I’m proud to have been part of this historic achievement,” said Leo Sain, UCOR President and
Project Manager. “This project was a massive undertaking involving many people. We are
pleased that UCOR, working hand‐in‐hand with DOE and the union leadership, was able to
safely complete the demolition and bring this project full circle.”
Although the K‐25 building demolition is complete, the historical significance of the facility will
live on. In 2012, the DOE, Tennessee State Historic Preservation, Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation, City of Oak Ridge, East Tennessee Preservation Alliance and other consulting
parties finalized a plan that lays out a multi‐year plan to commemorate the K‐25 complex,
which contained more than 500 facilities including the K‐25 building.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Energy Department will construct a three‐story
equipment building that recreates a scale representation of the gaseous diffusion technology
and contains authentic equipment used in the original facility. The Department’s Office of
Environmental Management also agreed to display equipment, artifacts, oral histories,
photographs and videos a K‐25 History Center on site. Also, the Department provided a
$500,000 grant to preserve the Alexander Inn, a historic structure in Oak Ridge where visiting
scientists and dignitaries stayed during their visits to the area.