Demolition started Monday on K-27, the last of the big five uranium-enriching buildings at the former K-25 site, and officials expect the work to be complete by the end of the year.
The five buildings—K-25, K-27, K-29, K-31, and K-33—once used a process called gaseous diffusion to enrich uranium for atomic weapons and commercial nuclear power plants. Officials credit them for helping to win World War II and end the Cold War, and for playing significant roles in technological developments and the nuclear industry.
The K-25 site, which is now known as East Tennessee Technology Park or Heritage Center, was built during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first nuclear weapons. The site is now slowly being converted into a large industrial park.
“The majority of the property will be reused,” said Ken Rueter, president and project manager for UCOR, or URS |CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, the U.S. Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge. [Read more…]