ORAU, DOE seeking students, grads for EM internships, research

ORAU Logo

Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the U.S. Department of Energy are currently seeking students and recent graduates for paid internships and research opportunities in a variety of disciplines through the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Science Education and Internship Program.

The mission of OREM is to remove environmental legacies resulting from decades of uranium enrichment activities and energy and scientific research. Students and recent college graduates will learn about this mission and receive specialized training and practical experience in the safe cleanup of environmental projects.

This workforce development program offers internships and research opportunities in disciplines ranging from chemical, nuclear, and other engineering fields to environmental and physical sciences, information technology, and occupational safety and health. The goal is to give participants a chance to explore a federal career with DOE and to create a pipeline of highly qualified professionals to support critical DOE missions for years to come. [Read more...]

Honors: DOE employee listed among area’s rising leaders

Heather Cloar of U.S Department of Energy

Heather Cloar, a U.S. Department of Energy employee in Oak Ridge, was named as a member of this year’s 40 Under 40.

By Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management

Earlier this year, the Greater Knoxville Business Journal compiled a list of East Tennessee’s top rising business and community leaders under the age of 40. The 2014 listing featured Heather Cloar, a contracting officer with the Energy Department in Oak Ridge.

Specifically, Heather, an Energy Department employee since 2002, is the federal official responsible for administering the $2.2 billion environmental cleanup contract with URS-CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, or UCOR. She is responsible for reviewing and approving all contract actions and guaranteeing that the contract remains aligned with EM’s priorities. She also certifies that the contractor’s work is performed in a cost-efficient manner to ensure the best value for American taxpayers. As a testament to her watchful oversight and frequent interaction with contractor leadership, UCOR completed the department’s largest-ever demolition project one year ahead of schedule and approximately $300 million under the current budget.

“Heather is making sure we are getting the best deal for the taxpayers under the contract and making sure the contract stays on schedule,” said Karen Shears, chief of the special acquisitions branch for DOE’s procurement and contracts division. “She’s got excellent judgment and great leadership skills, which is something you need because you interact with so many stakeholders.” [Read more...]

DOE awards contract to small business for mercury project at Y-12

Y-12 Water Treatment Plant Announcement

In May 2013, state and federal officials announce a plant to treat mercury-contaminated water at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Pictured from left are Mark Whitney, Robert Martineau, Lamar Alexander, Dave Huizenga, and Stan Meiburg.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, or EM, awarded the task order to Strata-G in Knoxville on Wednesday. The company will collect data and perform characterization at Outfall 200 at Y-12.

The task order is the first project in a five-year, multi-phase contract estimated at $15 million, DOE said in a press release Friday. The contract uses a bidding process among three small businesses for various characterization projects at EM’s cleanup sites in Oak Ridge. [Read more...]

Federal spending bill includes money for Y-12 water plant, reduces UPF spending

Y-12 Water Treatment Plant Announcement

In May 2013, state and federal officials announce a plant to treat mercury-contaminated water at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Pictured from left are Mark Whitney, Robert Martineau, Lamar Alexander, Dave Huizenga, and Stan Meiburg.

The $1 trillion federal spending bill passed by Congress last week provides money for a water treatment plant that would help reduce mercury contamination in Oak Ridge, and it includes less money for the Uranium Processing Facility than President Obama had requested, Sen. Lamar Alexander said Thursday.

The U.S. Senate approved the spending bill in a 72-26 vote after the House passed it 359-67. Alexander and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann voted for it, while Sen. Bob Corker voted against it. All are Tennessee Republicans, and Fleischmann’s district includes Oak Ridge.

Alexander said the spending bill provides $16 million less than Obama had requested in his budget for the UPF, a multi-billion-dollar building that would replace old buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex as part of a years-long effort to update the 811-acre site, consolidate operations, and cut the plant’s high-security “footprint” from 150 acres to 15. [Read more...]

K-25 Building demolition nears completion

K-25 Building Demolition

Workers continue demolishing and hauling away debris at the K-25 Building. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy/UCOR)

Demolition of the last standing section of the K-25 Building at the East Tennessee Technology Park is more than 75 percent complete.

UCOR workers began tearing down the last six units in the east wing of the mile-long Manhattan Project-era gaseous diffusion building in September. The majority of those six units—4.5 of them—are already on the ground, and work is continuing at a steady pace, the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office reported in the December issue of Public Involvement News.

The entire project, including waste removal, should be completed next year, the Oak Ridge Office said.

The historic, U-shaped K-25 Building was erected to enrich uranium for atomic bombs during World War II, and it was once the world’s largest building under one roof. It once had 54 units. [Read more...]

Federal official to give K-25 preservation update

A federal official will give an update on the historic preservation plans for the former K-25 Building in west Oak Ridge at 7 p.m. in the Midtown Community Center at 102 Robertsville Road.

Karen Doughty, who works in environmental management for the U.S. Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, will present the status update on the K-25 Historic Preservation initiative during a Thursday evening meeting of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association.

See this story for more information.

Federal official to give K-25 preservation update Thursday

K-25 Original Building

The K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant is pictured above as it was when it was operating. (Submitted photos)

A federal official will give an update on the historic preservation plans for the former K-25 Building in west Oak Ridge on Thursday.

Karen Doughty, who works in environmental management for the U.S. Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, will present the status update on the K-25 Historic Preservation initiative during a Thursday evening meeting of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. The public meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Midtown Community Center at 102 Robertsville Road. [Read more...]

Site Specific Advisory Board elects new officers

Dave Hemelright

Dave Hemelright

Bruce Hicks

Bruce Hicks

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board elected new officers during its September board meeting. The officers will serve in Fiscal Year 2014.

Dave Hemelright, Bruce Hicks, and Lisa Hagy will serve as chair, vice chair, and secretary respectively. The new officers presided over their first meeting Oct. 9 at the U.S. Department of Energy Information Center at 1 Science.gov Way in Oak Ridge.

Hemelright was the vice chair for FY 2013 and had been acting chair since his predecessor, David Martin, completed his term of service in July. He also served on the Finance and Process, Environmental Management, Public Outreach, and Stewardship committees. [Read more...]

With asbestos removed, DOE starts month-long move back into Federal Building

Oak Ridge Federal Building

The asbestos-containing insulation has been removed, and U.S. Department of Energy employees and contractors started a month-long move back into the Joe L. Evins Federal Building this week.

The asbestos-containing insulation has been removed, and U.S. Department of Energy employees and contractors started a month-long move back into the Joe L. Evins Federal Building this week, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The move back into the five-story building should be complete by the end of September, said Ben Williams, public affairs specialist for the DOE Oak Ridge Office. [Read more...]

UCOR celebrates two years in Oak Ridge

Leo Sain at K-25

Leo Sain, president and project manager for cleanup contractor UCOR, near the east wing of the mostly demolished K-25 Building, built to enrich uranium during World War II and also used during the Cold War.

It’s been two years since UCOR, the federal government’s cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge, started working in the Secret City.

UCOR president Leo Sain celebrated with an Aug. 1 letter to employees that thanked them but also issued a reminder and challenge. Read the letter here.

Sain said he is very proud of the workforce—he called the company’s performance spectacular—and said work has been done safely, under budget, and ahead of schedule.

“At the end of two years, we’re one of the safest sites in the U.S. Department of Energy complex,” Sain said. “The credit for that goes entirely to you, the workforce, for staying focused on your work through all the distractions and changing hazards that come with the tasks we perform.” [Read more...]

Advisory board member stays busy with many activities

Fay Martin With Trophies

Fay Martin displays her award for winning the singles title for women 55 in the 1996 Tennessee State Tennis Open. In the background are just a few of the numerous trophies she has won over the years. (Submitted photo)

Fay Martin is a very busy person. She’s an athlete. She’s a writer. She’s an artist. She’s involved in the community. The multitude of trophies, awards, certificates, and samples of her work proves that she has been doing all of these things for a long time.

She is also a member of the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board, a federally appointed citizens’ panel that provides independent advice and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management, or EM, program to clean up portions of the Oak Ridge Reservation. With all she does why would she want to be a member of ORSSAB? “I want to remain involved; to continue to be a helping hand on the board,” she says, “and I think DOE listens to what the board says through the recommendations it makes.” Fay is the vice chair of the board’s Stewardship Committee. [Read more...]

Four SSAB members finish terms, recognized 
for service

SSAB Members Recognized

Tom Valunas, Chuck Jensen, and David Martin (left to right) were recognized for their service to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board by Susan Cange, the board’s deputy designated federal officer, at the June meeting. Not pictured is Jan Hart, who was unable to attend. (Submitted photo)

Four members of the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board were recognized for their service at the June meeting as they completed their terms on the board. Two of them, Chuck Jensen and David Martin, completed three two-year terms and finished their work on the board as the current secretary and chair, respectively. Jan Hart and Tom Valunas each served one term and decided not to apply for second terms.

ORSSAB is a federally appointed citizens’ panel that provides independent advice and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management, or EM, program to clean up portions of the Oak Ridge Reservation. [Read more...]