For Immediate Release
Contact: Fran Poda
Oak Ridge, Tenn., Jan. 9, 2011 – On Jan. 6, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) contractor URS | CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) removed Tank W-1A at the central campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The 4,000-gallon tank, commissioned in 1951, and the surrounding contaminated soil are considered the largest source of groundwater contamination in Bethel Valley at ORNL.
The large stainless steel tank collected and stored liquid wastes from radiochemical separations and high-radiation analytical facilities at ORNL. The tank was removed from service and emptied in 1986 when significant levels of soil and groundwater contamination were traced to the area surrounding the vessel.
Field work began at Tank W-1A in September, shortly after UCOR assumed the cleanup contract on Aug. 1. The project was originally assigned under another scope, but UCOR accepted the task during the transition period.
“This project has been in progress for a very long time,” says Leo Sain, UCOR President and Project Manager. “The Department of Energy felt we could do the job, and I am proud that our team was able to get the job done safely and efficiently.”
In addition to tank removal, the project includes removing the surrounding contaminated soils. These soils are being excavated, packaged in lead-lined boxes, and shipped off site for final disposition. To date, 135 shielded B-25 boxes, or about 341 cubic yards, have been removed from the site. The project is expected to be complete this summer in accordance with the Federal Facility Agreement milestone.
The tank is currently being packaged and shipped to a commercial facility for size reduction and repackaging. Next, the concrete pad beneath the tank will be removed and disposed offsite, and the area will be backfilled with fill.
UCOR is the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management contractor at the Oak Ridge Reservation. The company is responsible for deactivation and demolition of the K-25 facility, as well as other cleanup activities at ETTP, ORNL, and the Y-12 National Security Site, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.