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K-25 East Wing Demolition Project Wraps Up, North End Work Next

September 14, 2012 - 12:00pm


Oak Ridge, Tenn. - Oak Ridge's EM contractor URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) has completed demolition activities on the K-25 Building’s east wing and is moving on to demolishing the north end.

The K-25 Building, located at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), was a former gaseous diffusion facility built as part of the Manhattan Project for the purpose of uranium enrichment. The mile-long structure was shut down in the early 1960s. It was composed of three major sections—the east and west wings and the north end—aligned in a “U” shape. The north end forms the base of the “U” and is the smallest of the three sections.

“This is a day we’ve been working towards for quite some time,” said Jim Kopotic, federal project director for ETTP cleanup. “It is a major achievement, and our team will maintain its momentum and continue towards our goal of completing the demolition of the K-25 Building.”

The north end is the only portion of the building left standing, with the exception of a small section of the east wing that requires further deactivation before demolition. The remaining section of the east wing is contaminated with technetium-99, a slow-decaying radioactive metal.

The north end was once considered a candidate for preservation, but its deteriorated condition made that option unfeasible. DOE signed an agreement with historic preservation groups last month allowing demolition of the north end in lieu of other means to commemorate the building’s history.

“The ETTP landscape is changing dramatically as this massive structure is steadily demolished,” said Mark Ferri, K-25 Project Manager for UCOR. “Although this portion of history is disappearing, UCOR and DOE have successfully worked with local preservation groups to
ensure that the site’s significant contributions to ending World War II are not forgotten.”

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 National Laboratory.