OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Thirteen months after demolition began, the final unit of the K-25 Building West Wing was taken down on January 20. Demolition of the 844,000 square foot structure began on December 16, 2008. A significant amount of debris remains to be size-reduced and shipped to the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility (EMWMF) in Oak Ridge, but demolition of the wing is complete.
“We are extremely pleased to have gotten this portion of the project done,” said Gerald Boyd, Manager of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Office. “The workforce has done a remarkable job, and we thank them for their hard work.”
The U-shaped K-25 Building, constructed during the World War II Manhattan Project, covered 1.64 million ft2 and contained more than 3,000 stages of gaseous diffusion and associated auxiliary equipment. Each stage consists of a converter, two compressors, two compressor motors, and associated piping. The footprint of the K-25 Building, the largest facility at the East Tennessee Technology Park, occupies about 40 acres.
“The demolition went well,” said Bechtel Jacobs Company (BJC) President Joe Nemec. “Our workers did an excellent job, and above all, they did it safely.” BJC, DOE’s environmental cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation, is performing the work at K-25.
Approximately 9,200 loads of demolition debris, 2,100 compressors, and 1,300 converters from the project have been shipped to the EMWMF in Bear Creek Valley for disposal.
Pre-demolition activities continue in the north and east wings, including the removal of high-risk equipment; vent, purge, drain, and inspection activities; asbestos removal; and draining of lubrication oil and coolant from the process system.
Measures were previously taken to improve the safety of workers inside the facility, including the installation of nets and barriers to add protection from falling debris.