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Recent Demolition Makes Oak Ridge National Laboratory Cleaner, Safer

April 16, 2012 - 12:00pm


OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cleanup contractor Safety and Ecology Corporation recently removed four structures as part of the Building 3026 C/D Hot Cells Project. The structures, which once processed radioisotopes, have been a safety concern for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) since the building’s outer structure was removed in 2010.

The recent demolition completes removal of Building 3026’s C side. Workers continue to prepare the remaining two structures from the building’s D side for demolition, which is the last step before completion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project to remove Building 3026 C/D Hot Cells. Workers have shipped a majority of the waste from demolition of the C side and are cleaning the foundation for final radiological surveys.

“We are pleased with the most recent progress on this project, considering it was one of the most pressing risks to the workforce and ongoing research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” said Sue Cange, acting assistant manager for Environmental Management.

Building 3026, formerly known as the Radioisotope Development Laboratory, dates back to the Manhattan Project and postwar era, when one of the laboratory's primary missions included the production of radioisotopes for medical, research, and industrial uses. Constructed from 1943-1945, the building processed radioisotopes from ORNL's Graphite Reactor. Prior to its demolition, the building had been inactive for 20 years and posed significant fire and radiological hazards.

The project is funded as part of the $755 million the DOE’s Oak Ridge Office Environmental Management program received from the Recovery Act for cleanup projects in Oak Ridge.