This story and photos were published in the May 17 edition of the EM Update newsletter by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management.
Oak Ridge’s environmental management, or EM, program and contractor URS | CH2M Oak Ridge have prevented more than 1,000 pounds of mercury from entering the environment at the Y-12 National Security Complex.
This work, part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Excess Contaminated Facilities initiative, enables demolition and disposal of massive mercury-contaminated equipment to begin this month.
Workers are inspecting and cleaning the pipes and column exchange (COLEX) equipment on the west side of Alpha-4 at Y-12. They have tapped and drained approximately 2,100 feet of the 5,700 feet of piping so far, retrieving large amounts of mercury, and more is expected as work continues. EM will address and remove the remaining portions on the facility’s east and south sides in the future.
“This project has proven to be a very successful investment for our program,” said Oak Ridge Office of EM Acting Manager Jay Mullis. “We set out to remove risks and enhance safety through the Excess Contaminated Facilities initiative, and our efforts at Alpha-4 will prevent thousands of pounds of mercury from leaking into the environment.” [Read more…]