For Immediate Release
Contact: Fran Smith
Oak Ridge, Tenn., January 23, 2013 – URS | CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC (UCOR) completed
demolition on the north end of the K-25 building today, signifying the next major step toward
completing demolition of the Manhattan Project-era building.
Building K-25 represents the largest demolition project ongoing in the DOE Environmental
Management complex today. Work began in 2008 under a previous contractor and is expected to
be complete sometime next year.
The K-25 building, located at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), was composed of
three major sections—the east and west wings and the north end—which were aligned in a “U”
shape that was more than a mile around. The north end forms the base of the “U” and is the
smallest of the three sections.
Demolition of the north, west and east wings is now complete, with the exception of a small
section of the east wing that requires further deactivation due to the presence of technetium-99
(Tc-99), a slow-decaying radioactive metal. Previous plans called for the north end to be
preserved for historic purposes, but in July 2012 federal, state, and local historic preservation
groups signed an agreement establishing an alternative plan that allows the north end to be
demolished, while still recognizing the historic significance of the site.
“The employees here at K-25 have made this happen,” said Mark Ferri, K-25 D&D Manager. “I
have been impressed with their knowledge and absolute focus on safety since day 1. They are
the best group I have ever been privileged to work with.”
Within weeks after UCOR took over the ETTP contract in August 2011, workers began work on
the east wing and soon completely cut through the wing, allowing demolition work to be safely
conducted in the non-Tc area at the same time that deactivation work was being done in the Tc
Waste disposition work has kept pace with demolition work under the project’s “pack as you go”
philosophy, meaning that waste isn’t allowed to pile up in the wake of demolition; rather, waste
is shipped within weeks after demolition is completed. In all, workers have safely completed
more than 15,000 shipments since the contract began.
Workers will now continue pre-demolition activities in the remaining Tc-99 area of K-25’s east
wing. Depending on funding, the last section of K-25 could be completed sometime next year.
“Completing demolition of the K-25 building is our highest priority, and this is another
significant step toward that goal,” said Mark Whitney, Oak Ridge’s EM manager.
In addition to deactivating and demolishing K-25 and other cleanup work, UCOR is responsible
for other specific scopes of work at ETTP, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Oak
Ridge National Laboratory.