For Immediate Release
Contact: Fran Smith
Oak Ridge, Tenn., Feb. 26, 2013 – URS | CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC (UCOR) has removed the
highest risk components remaining in the East Tennessee Technology Park’s (ETTP) K-27
building, with the successful crane removal of six components known as NaF traps.
The K-27 building is sister to the mile-long K-25 gaseous diffusion process building, which is
now nearly demolished. Both are Manhattan Project buildings constructed to produce materials
for nuclear weapons. As work is completed at K-25, crews shift to K-27, where their experience
and lessons learned are crucial.
When K-25 and K-27 were operational, the NaF traps were part of the final uranium removal
process from the “purge cascade.” Sodium fluoride pellets were used to trap the uranium, and
these particular traps still contain uranium materials from when the facility was shut down
decades ago. The NaF traps are each about the size of a household hot water heater and range in
weight from 1,500 pounds to 2,000 pounds each.
The two NaF traps deemed highest risk were removed first, over the weekend. According to
Dell Simpson, Project Integration Manager for the K-27 project, these were high risk because of
the amount of uranium still remaining in them. They are being stored in the K-25 area until the
materials can be removed. The other four NaF traps were removed on Monday, Feb. 25. These
can be disposed of as waste, Simpson said.
“It’s a big accomplishment to remove these vessels,” said Steve Dahlgren, UCOR D&D
Manager. “They represented the highest risk remaining in the K-27 building. Safely removing
them is a big step toward getting this project completed.”
In addition to deactivating and demolishing the K-25 Building, UCOR is responsible for other
specific scopes of work at ETTP, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Oak Ridge