This story was originally published in the EM Update on Thursday, July 13, by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management. It was contributed by Ben Williams.
The Oak Ridge environmental management program and a small business specializing in environmental consulting, remediation, and deactivation and decommissioning are scheduled to complete field work and cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park’s K-732 Switchyard this month.
Workers removed extensive electrical infrastructure and equipment, transported three massive 110-ton condensers, and characterized, excavated, and backfilled three condenser basements and 20 underground vaults. They also remediated the soil and removed and transported nearly 56,000 gallons of oil. A condenser adjusts conditions and voltage on the electric power transmission grid.
Employees at CTI and Associates Inc. identified creative solutions to reduce costs and disposal needs.
CTI deducted the proceeds from recycling many of the switchyard’s metals and components from its contract cost. The company recycled more than 800 tons of steel, 28 tons of copper, and seven tons of aluminum and brass, avoiding placing these materials in the U.S. Department of Energy’s onsite disposal facilities.
“Small businesses are crucial to advancing our cleanup mission in Oak Ridge,” said Jay Mullis, acting manager for Oak Ridge’s environmental management, or EM, program. “CTI is proof of the skill and ability they offer. Their unique approach generated $115,000 in savings, and it diverted a large amount of debris from our waste disposal areas.”
Constructed in 1944, the switchyard provided power to the K-27 uranium enrichment process building. Changing missions and removal of the site’s former processing buildings led to its shutdown.
The switchyard project moves Oak Ridge’s EM program closer to its goal of transforming the former uranium site into a private industrial park. About 880 acres have already been transferred to the community for reuse. The former switchyard site will be available to transfer from government ownership after the project is completed this month.
CTI is conducting the work under a firm-fixed-price contract awarded in June 2015. The company is set to complete the switchyard project for $3.8 million.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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