Big day: Main Street Oak Ridge, Manhattan Project Park on Thursday’s agenda

Main Street Oak Ridge Presentation

Pictured above during a presentation on Main Street Oak Ridge last week are Crosland Southeast partner James Downs, right; Barry James, Crosland Southeast senior vice president, center; and Houston E. Daugherty, Cannon and Cannon vice president.


A vote that could help Main Street Oak Ridge, the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, is on Thursday’s agenda. So is an open house on the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

They are among two of the biggest projects in Oak Ridge in years, and both are considered key parts of an economic renaissance that also includes new business development along Oak Ridge Turnpike and South Illinois Avenue, a new Kroger Marketplace shopping center, the proposed multi-billion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the announcement by metal powder manufacturing company CVMR this month that it will move its operations from Toronto to Oak Ridge, investing $313 million and adding 620 jobs.

A rezoning has been requested for Main Street Oak Ridge. It will be considered by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission during a meeting that starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom. The Planning Commission will also consider a planned unit development, or PUD, master plan for the project. [Read more…]

DOE deputy secretary meets two ‘Calutron Girls’ at Y-12

DOE Deputy Secretary and Calutron Girls

Two of the calutron girls met with DOE Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall during her visit to Oak Ridge. Seated from left to right are Petty Stuart and Ruth Huddleston. Standing left to right are Kathryn Grant, special assistant to the deputy secretary; commander Wayne Smith, senior military assistant; Sherwood-Randall and Timothy McClees, chief of staff. (Photo courtesy CNS)


When Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was in Oak Ridge last week, she met two “Calutron Girls” at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Peggy Stuart and Ruth Huddleston both came to Y-12 when they were 18 years old. They both were recruited as seniors in high school when someone from Oak Ridge, a place Peggy did not know existed, came to their schools and invited them to join the war effort.

Peggy said: “My friend had worked there and got lonesome for home in Sneedville, Tennessee. When she decided to go back to Oak Ridge, I came with her. They did not hire her because she did not stay when she was there before, but I got a job.”

Ruth was living in Oliver Springs. When the Manhattan Project began, she knew that something big was happening, so she applied for a job and got it. Peggy and Ruth both married and have spent most of their lives in this area. [Read more…]

Officials celebrate new bridge, road relocation, haul road for UPF at Y-12

Bear Creek Road Extension and Bridge

Pictured above is the new Bear Creek Road extension and bridge on the west side of the Y-12 National Security Complex.


They called it their first major milestone: the completion of site readiness work, delivered on time and under budget. The work included the relocation of Bear Creek Road, a new bridge, and construction of a haul road.

It’s part of the project to build a Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex. UPF could replace World War II-era buildings at Y-12. The project has been capped at $6.5 billion, and it’s expected to be completed by 2025.

Federal officials and contractors celebrated the completion of the site readiness subproject in a Friday morning ceremony at Y-12. [Read more…]

Federal, contractor officials celebrate UPF site readiness work on Friday

Frank Klotz

Frank Klotz

Federal officials and contractors will celebrate the completion of site readiness work for the multi-billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Friday morning.

The UPF site readiness work includes a Bear Creek Road extension and the creation of a haul road.

“Site readiness is the first major step for UPF, a project essential for supporting our nation’s uranium mission,” a media advisory said. “Completion of this stage of the field work to prepare for building UPF signifies a move forward toward the National Nuclear Security Administration’s commitment to complete UPF and move out of the aging 9212 facility.”

The Friday morning celebration starts at 10 a.m. The media has been invited to attend. [Read more…]

Gov. Haslam, state to make ‘significant’ economic announcement in OR Friday

Bill Haslam during Presidential Visit at Pellissippi State

Governor Bill Haslam is pictured above during a visit by President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, January 9. (File photo by Rob Welton)

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and the state will make a significant economic development announcement in Oak Ridge on Friday afternoon, officials said.

The announcement—which will also include other federal, state, and local officials—is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 13, at the former Theragenics Building at Horizon Center.

Details of the announcement have not been released. [Read more…]

Police: Calif. man arrested, questioned by feds after demanding tours of New Hope, ORNL

Rishi Chatterjee Malakar

Rishi Chatterjee Malakar

Note: This story was updated at 12:18 p.m. March 9.

A California man was arrested by police and questioned by federal agents after he demanded tours of the New Hope Center at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Friday evening, authorities said.

The Oak Ridge Police Department responded to the call at about 6:22 p.m. Friday. A man had been found trying to get into the New Hope Center at 602 Scarboro Road through a rear door, Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said.

An employee at the New Hope Center confronted the man, who demanded a tour of the building, Akagi said.

After he was denied a tour, the man reportedly left the area in a maroon-colored Jeep sport utility vehicle bearing a Texas license plate. [Read more…]

Council to discuss ORPD review, DOE landfill, Preschool

Oak Ridge City Council on Feb. 9, 2015

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday, Feb. 9, agreed to a third-party review of turnover, morale, and administrative policies in the Oak Ridge Police Department. (File photo)


The Oak Ridge City Council on Tuesday could discuss a review of the Oak Ridge Police Department, hear a briefing on a proposed U.S. Department of Energy landfill west of the Y-12 National Security Complex, and discuss a new joint city-school committee that could lay the groundwork for a new preschool by the 2016-2017 school year.

The City Council will meet in a non-voting work session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Multipurpose Room at the Central Services Complex on Woodbury Lane. The work session has been rescheduled from last month because of weather. [Read more…]

Anderson government closed; Y-12, Oak Ridge, UCOR, DOE, ORAU start late

Snow in Oak Ridge on Feb. 26, 2015

Several inches of snow fell in Oak Ridge and across East Tennessee overnight. (Photo by Bruce Phillips)


Note: This story was last updated at 9:23 a.m.

Several inches of snow fell in East Tennessee overnight, and there are more closings and delays because of weather and road conditions.

The Y-12 National Security Complex is still clearing some areas at the site. Non-essential employees should delay arrival at the site until 11 a.m. UPF Offsite Offices also should delay until 11 a.m. Personnel are urged to use caution when driving and walking throughout the site and to use designated snow routes.

Anderson County government offices will be closed Thursday. The Roane County Courthouse is also closed. [Read more…]

Snow: Oak Ridge Schools closed, city opens late, Discovery Ed Livestream postponed

Snow Sweeper at Oak Ridge High School

A tractor with sweeping equipment helps remove snow from the Oak Ridge High School parking lot. (Photo by Julio Culiat) 


Note: This story was last updated at 12:52 p.m. Some of these announcements continue to change. We will update this story as we can.

Oak Ridge Schools are closed today (Tuesday, February 24), and the City of Oak Ridge offices will open at 10 a.m.

Oak Ridge Schools said the Discovery Ed Livestream that had been scheduled for today has been postponed until May.

Anderson County Courthouse is closed due to weather. So is Roane State Community College. [Read more…]

NNSA finishes upgrades at Y-12 enriched uranium buildings ahead of schedule, under budget

Y-12 Building 9212 Stack 110

At Building 9212, Stacks 110 and 43 were combined, which eliminated use of one exhaust stack. Further improvements on the project at the Y-12 National Security Complex included the old bag filtration system being replaced with a new cartridge dust collector, shown here. (Photos courtesy NNSA)


Project provides critical infrastructure upgrades in Building 9212

The National Nuclear Security Administration has completed a major capital improvement project that has resulted in critical infrastructure upgrades to two key production buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The $75.7 million project was completed nearly 11 months ahead of the construction completion schedule and approximately $5.6 million under budget.

The Nuclear Facilities Risk Reduction, or NFRR, project included upgrades to mechanical, electrical, ventilation, and heating/cooling systems for enriched uranium operations in Buildings 9212 and 9204-2E. The project began in 2008, when 10 tasks were identified and undertaken to make those facilities safer for operations. The project was originally scheduled for completion in 2016.

Improvements include major portions of a 40‑year‑old ventilation system being replaced, and 11 steam stations being consolidated into seven with improved function and maintainability. Several upgrades, replacements, and modifications have been made to electrical switchgear and motor control center systems, and a Kathabar system was replaced with a more environmentally friendly brine chiller. [Read more…]

Anderson, Roane, Clinton schools closed Monday

Note: This story was last updated at 6 p.m.

Anderson County Schools will be closed Monday, February 23, due to icy conditions on many of the county’s back roads. The Central Office will be closed as well.

Roane County Schools will also be closed Monday. The Central Office status will be determined at a later time.

Clinton City School Schools will also be closed Monday due to weather. [Read more…]

City crews treat all streets by Thursday, now working on water main breaks

Oak Ridge Snow Plow on Oak Ridge Turnpike on Feb. 17, 2015

An Oak Ridge snow plow is pictured above at center on Oak Ridge Turnpike, which was mostly clear on Tuesday evening, February 17. 


Crews from the Oak Ridge Public Works Department had treated all 230 miles of streets by the time they left work on Thursday, and they’re now battling a half-dozen small water main breaks.

Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said crews focused on what are known as Level 3 and Level 4 streets on Thursday. They removed all loose snow. But there could still be patches of ice on some roads, Cinder said.

“You can’t get ice off the street until you get much warmer temperatures,” he said. [Read more…]