Congressional staffer, Marshall Space Flight Center win Corridor Champion Award

Helen Hardin Corridor Champion

Longtime Tennessee Congressional staffer Helen Hardin, right, received the Corridor Champion Award at last week’s Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit in Chattanooga. Also pictured are Gerald Boyd, chair of the TVC board, center, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge. (Submitted photos)

 

CHATTANOOGA—Longtime Tennessee congressional staffer Helen Hardin and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center received the top awards given by the Tennessee Valley Corridor during the organization’s annual national summit held last week on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Hardin is senior policy advisory for Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican, and she has been involved in the TVC’s activities since the first Summit was held in Oak Ridge in 1995. Todd May, manager for NASA’s space launch system program, accepted the award on behalf of MSFC.

The Corridor Champion Award recognizes individuals and organizations that provide leadership to enhance the TVC’s national visibility, high-tech economic development, and collaborative efforts within the region.

Past Corridor Champion Award winners include Fleischmann, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, former Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission Anne Pope, the Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Tennessee, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. [Read more...]

Tours of Manhattan Project sites a highlight of Secret City Festival

Secret City Festival Logo

One of the highlights of the annual Secret City Festival, taking place Friday and Saturday at A.K. Bissell Park, is the series of tours that run all day both days.

Each of the four tours will depart from the American Museum of Science and Energy at scheduled times. In addition, the Secret City Scenic Excursion Train will be chugging along during the festival.

Visitors will have a unique opportunity to tour three historic Manhattan Project World War II sites. On Friday, June 13, Y-12 will host tours from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The one-hour tour will include the Y-12 History Center, Building 9731, the Chestnut Ridge Overlook, and Bear Creek Road.

Also on Friday, visitors can take the U.S. Department of Energy Facilities Bus Tour, which is included with a $1 admission to AMSE. This tour includes stops at the Y-12 New Hope Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Graphite Reactor, and a tour around the East Tennessee Technology Park. A separate tour that focuses on the X-10 Graphite Reactor is available at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday.

On Saturday, there will be four opportunities to tour the ORNL Graphite Reactor. All tours will begin at the American Museum of Science and Energy. The Secret City Scenic Excursion Train will be running three tours as well. Departure times for both tours are listed below: [Read more...]

Secret City Festival features something for everyone

Secret City Festival Crowd June 2012

A large crowd waits to hear music during the June 2012 festival.

 

Make plans to attend the 12th Annual Secret City Festival on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, in historic Oak Ridge. Join more than 20,000 visitors and residents to celebrate the end of World War II and the heritage of Oak Ridge from 1945 to the present.

Here’s an overview of some of the many activities and events taking place at this year’s festival: [Read more...]

New UPF project director replaces Strock, who is retiring

Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly

Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC announced last week that Brian Reilly will become project director for the Uranium Processing Facility.

CNS is the new contractor that will manage and operate the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, starting this summer.

A press release said Reilly has 34 years of commercial nuclear engineering, procurement, and construction leadership and project management experience. A Bechtel senior vice president, Reilly managed Bechtel’s global nuclear operations for six years and has led numerous nuclear projects from conceptual studies and design through all aspects of engineering, procurement, and construction. [Read more...]

Y-12 fulfills major milestone in fuel conversion commitment for Jamaican research reactor

Y-12 National Security Complex Aerial View

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above. (Photo courtesy B&W Y-12)

The Y-12 National Security Complex recently fulfilled its commitment to provide low-enriched uranium, or LEU, as feedstock to fuel the “Safe LOW-POwer Kritical Experiment” (SLOWPOKE) research reactor in Kingston, Jamaica.

“Our role is to produce the uranium dioxide feedstock and to manage fabrication of LEU fuel pins for the reactor core to enable conversion from highly enriched uranium, or HEU, to LEU,” said John Creasy of Y‑12’s Nuclear Nonproliferation and Global Security Programs.

The new pins, made of low enriched uranium dioxide powder, will replace those made with weapons-useable HEU, thus making the reactor fuel less desirable to terrorists. Y-12 has a long history of supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear nonproliferation activities throughout the world. This project is just one of several HEU-to-LEU conversion efforts in which Y-12 has participated in support of the Department’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative, or GTRI.

The last shipment of uranium dioxide feedstock was shipped last month to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, where it will be fabricated into fuel pins. AECL was selected because it designed the original SLOWPOKE reactor. [Read more...]

Council to consider DOE wastewater billing; lobbying, economic development contracts

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night will consider adding a facilities charge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s monthly wastewater bill for costs related to the construction of a holding tank, or equalization basin, near the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The equalization basin on Scarboro Lane, near the intersection of Scarboro Road and South Illinois Avenue, will service wastewater coming out of the federal reservation, city officials said.

The City Council will consider converting East Madison Road, which runs behind an apartment complex near the Alexander Inn, from a one-way street to a two-way street, and members will consider a contract with federal lobbying firm The Ferguson Group LLC and economic development contracts with Ray Evans and Steve Jones.

The Oak Ridge City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday (today) in the Municipal Building Courtroom. See the agenda here.

See this story for more information.

DOE public bus tour begins June 2

DOE Public Bus Tour

A U.S. Department of Energy public bus tour in August 2012. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)

Visitors see Oak Ridge’s past and present

The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2014 Oak Ridge facilities public bus tour begins June 2 and continues through August 29. The tour offers visitors a first-hand look at the DOE’s Oak Ridge facilities and provides historical commentary on the transformation of the Oak Ridge Reservation during the past 70 years.

The reservation-wide tour is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the area. Since its inception in 1996, the DOE public tour program has attracted more than 30,000 visitors from all 50 states. The three-hour tour allows visitors to see the Oak Ridge Reservation and learn about its history. It also provides participants a chance to find out about the world-class missions underway in Oak Ridge.

Bus stops include: [Read more...]

Council to consider DOE wastewater billing; lobbying, economic development contracts

Oak Ridge City Council

The Oak Ridge City Council is pictured above during an August 2013 meeting. (File photo)

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night will consider adding a facilities charge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s monthly wastewater bill for costs related to the construction of a holding tank, or equalization basin, near the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The equalization basin on Scarboro Lane, near the intersection of Scarboro Road and South Illinois Avenue, will service wastewater coming out of the federal reservation, city officials said. Wastewater flows from DOE facilities are estimated to be 67 percent of the total wastewater flow coming into that equalization basin, which will replace a now-demolished car wash near the intersection.

Assuming a 67 percent-33 percent split between DOE and the city, DOE’s share of the cost for construction of the Scarboro Lane equalization basin is estimated at $1.4 million, city officials said. DOE could pay another $24,190 per month as part of its wastewater bill for 60 months starting in July, Oak Ridge Finance Director Janice E. McGinnis said. [Read more...]

Y-12 licenses high-powered hydraulic tool to Chattanooga company

Omni Jaw 5

The Omni Jaw 5—a patented, portable, high-powered hydraulic tool invented to shear and trap bolt heads during demolition projects—has been licensed by Y-12 to Green Arc Labs (GAL) of Chattanooga. (Photo courtesy B&W Y-12)

 

A patented, portable, high-powered hydraulic tool—invented to shear and trap bolt heads during demolition projects—has proven its worth and is moving to market. Y-12 National Security Complex signed a licensing agreement with start-up company Green Arc Labs, or GAL, of Chattanooga for Omni Jaw 5. This is the first time the two companies have partnered.

The hand-held tool, invented a decade ago by Lee Bzorgi of Y-12’s National Security Technology Center, generates up to five tons of force on the cutting jaw and simultaneously collects the trimmings, eliminating environmental and safety hazards. It was designed during demolition of the East Tennessee Technology Park, where asbestos cyanide-dipped bolts posed a problem.

“We are excited about our connection with Y-12. This is a first for us,” said Casey York, founder of the GAL start-up company. “We have existing manufacturers in Chattanooga, and the Omni Jaw tool will be machined right here. There’s such an apparent need for this tool in the construction or demolition of any commercial building, for example, or in ship deconstruction, asbestos removal, or equipment dismantlement.” [Read more...]

NNSA marks 10th anniversary of Global Threat Reduction Initiative

Frank Klotz

Frank Klotz

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Nuclear Security Administration on Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, GTRI. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, reducing the threat of terrorist acquisition of nuclear or radiological material has been a core mission of NNSA, and it is a mission that will continue into the future.

“The Global Threat Reduction Initiative’s history demonstrates how seriously we take this mission and our commitment to fulfilling President Obama’s nuclear security agenda,” said U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Frank G. Klotz. “However, the threat to national and global security from state or terrorist acquisition of nuclear and radiological materials is far from gone, and our focus now is on addressing the substantial threats that remain.”

GTRI, an NNSA nuclear nonproliferation program, works with partners around the world to reduce and consolidate global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium, or HEU, and plutonium, and to secure dangerous radiological sources both at home and abroad. GTRI and its predecessor programs have removed and secured more than enough material for 980 nuclear weapons and tens of thousands of radiological dirty bombs by converting HEU research reactors and isotope production facilities to the use of low enriched uranium, or LEU; removing or confirming disposition of HEU and plutonium; and securing nuclear and radiological sites around the world. [Read more...]

New NNSA administrator to keynote Tennessee Valley Summit

Frank Klotz

Frank Klotz, the new administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, is pictured above.

CHATTANOOGA—Retired Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, the recently confirmed undersecretary for nuclear security for the U.S. Department of Energy and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, will be a keynote speaker at the Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit in June. Along with University of Tennessee President Joe DiPetro, Klotz will speak at the event’s Leadership Luncheon, which will conclude the June 4-5 event on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Klotz was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April to lead the NNSA in its mission to improve national secruity through the military application of nuclear energy. NNSA maintains the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and is responsible for many nuclear nonproliferation, counter-terrorism, and radiological emergency response efforts for the United States as well as providing fuel for the country’s nuclear Navy. The Y-12 National Secruity Complex in Oak Ridge is one of NNSA’s most important facilities.

“Gen. Klotz occupies one of the most important jobs in the federal government to assure a strong nuclear deterrence for our nation’s security and the safety of our nuclear stockpile,” said Gerald Boyd, TVC board chair and former DOE Oak Ridge site manager. “It’s a great honor for the TVC to host one of his first public addresses as the new DOE undersecretary and NNSA administrator.” [Read more...]

Field work complete, cleanup projects used $751 million in Recovery Act funding

Building K-33

Building K-33 at the East Tennessee Technology Park, also known as the former K-25 site, before demolition. (DOE photo)

 

Note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m.

The field work is complete on 27 cleanup projects at three federal sites in Oak Ridge that used $751 million in Recovery Act funds.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, or EM, announced the end of the field work on Thursday.

“We’re done knocking down buildings and with all the work in the field,” said Mike Koentop, executive officer in Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management. “We have paperwork left to do to close out projects.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the Recovery Act or stimulus bill, was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in February 2009. It was meant to help stimulate an economic recovery during the depths of the Great Recession, and it was intended to address long-neglected infrastructure projects and programs.

In Oak Ridge, the Recovery Act funding paid for several demolition projects such as the demolition of the 1.4-million-square-foot K-33 Building at the East Tennessee Technology Park and other projects ranging from mercury reduction at the Y-12 National Security Complex to transuranic waste processing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [Read more...]