Y-12 hosts Medal of Honor recipients at Town Hall Forum


The Medal of Honor Knoxville Convention Committee has chosen the Y-12 National Security Complex to host a community event Friday, September 12, at 10 a.m., during this year’s convention.

Several Medal of Honor recipients will participate in a Town Hall Forum at Y-12’s New Hope Center located at 602 Scarboro Road.

The forum will be moderated by Hallerin Hilton Hill from WOKI’s Newstalk 98.7.The community is invited to attend, listen to recipients tell their stories, and answer questions from the audience.

Currently scheduled recipients for this Town Hall Forum include men who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. [Read more...]

Expanded Safety Fest set for September

Safety Fest TN

Making Tennesseans safer at work


Virtually any company will tell you that worker safety is job one.

In Oak Ridge, there’s an event every year to help make sure the words get turned into action. For the third consecutive year, the Oak Ridge Business Safety Partnership, partnering with a number of organizations, will host Safety Fest TN, a week of safety classes, safety seminars, a Safety Expo, and a community Safety Forum—all free of charge to anyone who registers. The event is scheduled for September 8-12 and is based at the New Hope Center at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

“We appreciate Consolidated Nuclear Security working with us to accommodate Safety Fest TN and for sponsoring the community brunch on September 8,” said Jenny Freeman, chair of the ORBSP planning committee, which is responsible for organizing the event.

Classes will also be held at five other locations, including Centro Hispano in Knoxville, where courses will be offered in Spanish. The addition of Spanish language classes is a new and important outreach. [Read more...]

DOE responds to SSAB’s waste disposal recommendation


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management has responded to a recommendation made earlier this year by the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board.

In May, the federally appointed citizens’ panel recommended that DOE continue to plan for additional on-site waste disposal capacity on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation, or ORR, for low-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste.

DOE currently operates the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility, or EMWMF, a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Bear Creek Valley near the Y-12 National Security Complex. When the facility began accepting waste in 2002, it was expected to handle all projected low-level waste from cleanup operations on the ORR. However, with the amount of demolition and work left to complete, EM requires additional disposal capacity onsite.

DOE has conducted a study to develop, screen, and evaluate alternatives for an additional waste disposal facility, with a working name of EM Disposal Facility, or EMDF. ORSSAB’s recommendation encouraged the agency to continue working toward adding disposal capacity and proposed recommendations for a new facility.

The ORSSAB encouraged DOE to minimize the need for additional on-site capacity when possible. In its response, DOE said it was examining the final cover design of the EMWMF to allow for extended capacity. The waste acceptance criteria for other so-called “sanitary landfills” on Chestnut Ridge are being evaluated for possible modifications to allow a wider variety of waste. [Read more...]

Fleischmann touts record, Appropriations seat; Wamp willing to work across aisle

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

Chuck Fleischmann

They’ve battled over negative ads, political endorsements, special interest money, and the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann, the two-term incumbent, touts his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and, important to Oak Ridge, the Energy and Water Subcommittee.

Meanwhile, Weston Wamp, his challenger, has suggested a willingness to work across party lines to “move the country forward.”

The two men face off in a in two-man battle in the Republican primary on Thursday. It’s in part a rematch of the three-man GOP primary in Tennessee’s Third District in 2012, when Wamp and Scotty Mayfield lost to Fleischmann. [Read more...]

OREPA has names, remembrance ceremony at Y-12 on Wednesday

OREPA Peace Cranes at Y-12

Sharon O’Hara-Bruce of Lake Orion, Mich., ties a peace crane to a fence set up in front of the Y-12 National Security during a ceremony last year recalling the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, near the end of World War II.

An Oak Ridge peace organization will mark the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, with a names and remembrance ceremony across from the main entrance to the Y-12 National Security Complex on Wednesday morning.

It’s an annual ceremony for the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance that commemorates the bombing of Hiroshima near the end of World War II. Uranium for that bomb, code-named Little Boy, was enriched in Oak Ridge.

The Names and Remembrance Ceremony will be held directly across from the East Bear Creek Road entrance to Y12, starting at 6 a.m. and continuing until 9 a.m., a press release said.

“The ceremony, intended to be a solemn and non-confrontational remembrance, is an effort to join our voices to the voices of the hibakusha—the dwindling band of courageous survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima to say ‘Never again!'” the press release said. “We remember so we do not repeat.” [Read more...]

Letter from Prison: Y-12 protesters’ statement on second anniversary of break-in

Transform Now Plowshares

Note: This is a copy of a letter sent Monday from the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center by Sr. Megan Rice, on behalf of the Transform Now Plowshares.

We send warm greetings and many thanks to all who actively engage in the transformation of weapons of mass destruction to sustainable life-giving alternatives. Gregory Boertje-Obed (U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas) Michael Walli (Federal Correctional Institution McKean, Bradford, Pennsylvania), and I are sending you some of our observations and concerns on the second anniversary of our Transform Now Plowshares action.

On July 28, 2012, after thorough study of nuclear issues, and because of our deepening commitment to nonviolence, we engaged in direct action by cutting through four fences at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. continues to overhaul and upgrade thermonuclear warheads.

On that day, two years ago, when we reached the building where all U.S. highly enriched (bomb-grade) uranium is stored, we prayed and also wrote messages on the wall, such as “The Fruit of Justice is Peace.” (Realistically, the higher and stronger fences built as a result of our nonviolent incursion can never keep humans safe from inherently dangerous materials and weapons.) We acted humbly as “creative extremists for love,” to cite one of our most important and revered leaders, Martin Luther King Jr.

There are a number of reasons for what we did. We three were acutely mindful of the widespread loss to humanity that nuclear systems have already caused, and we realize that all life on Earth could be exterminated through intentional, accidental, or technical error. [Read more...]

Uranium Processing Facility team signs partnering agreement

UPF Partnering Agreement

The Uranium Processing Facility Project Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC signed a partnering agreement to move forward on delivering the UPF mission. Shown in the photo are, front row, left to right: Bill Priest, CNS; John Eschenberg, UPO; Brian Reilly, CNS; and Dale Christenson, UPO; and back row, left to right: Joe Brown, CNS; Brant Morowski, CNS; Mike Pratt, CNS; Jim Sowers, CNS; Matt Crookshanks, CNS; John Clayton, UPO; Art Haugh, UPO; Laurie Folden, UPO; and Steve Wellbaum, UPO. (Submitted photo)


Officials from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Uranium Processing Facility Project Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC recently signed a partnering agreement to create a cohesive and effective team united in accomplishment of the Uranium Processing Facility mission.

“The UPF partnering agreement is an important step to ensure our team carries out its mission to deliver a new UPF, a key infrastructure investment for our country, with Building 9212 capabilities, for not more than $6.5 billion by 2025,” said UPF Federal Project Director John Eschenberg.

The agreement also emphasizes a collaborative approach to problem-solving and issue resolution focused on early identification and rapid communication. [Read more...]

Anderson Commission Chair Fritts seeks re-election

Chuck Fritts

Chuck Fritts

Chairman Chuck Fritts is seeking re-election to the Anderson County Commission, representing District 1. District 1 includes the Bull Run and Claxton precincts.

“It has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the residents of District 1 on the Anderson County Commission,” Fritts said in a press release. “I take very seriously the trust that you have placed in me, and it is my desire that you will allow me to continue to serve you and, working with my fellow commissioners, to move Anderson County forward.”

First elected in 2002, Fritts said he brings valuable experience, knowledge, and leadership to the Anderson County Commission and has worked hard to represent the residents of District 1.

“He has taken this position very seriously and has worked long hours to do the job he felt he was elected to do,” the press release said. “He is not only well-known throughout Anderson County, but also throughout the state of Tennessee.” [Read more...]

Tennessee man pleads guilty in $2.5 million Y-12 extortion case

Y-12 Aerial Photo June 2012

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above in June 2012. (Photo courtesy NNSA)

KNOXVILLE—A Tennessee man who appeared on the television reality show “The Millionaire Matchmaker” has pleaded guilty in a $2.5 million extortion case involving the former managing contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

Adam Winters, 26, of Robbins, Tenn., said he had copies of slides that would injure the reputation of the contractor, Babcock and Wilcox Y-12 LLC, and he met with undercover officers on May 23 to exchange the slides for the money he demanded, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a Thursday afternoon press release. Law enforcement officers revealed their identity during that May 23 meeting and arrested Winters.

Earlier, on May 8, Winters had e-mailed Babcock and Wilcox and attempted to email Vice President Joe Biden about the slides, Killian said. After he sent the email, Winters used the Internet and telephone to communicate his threat to injure their reputation through the use of the slides, according to the plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee. [Read more...]

CNS begins managing, operating Pantex, Y-12

Pantex Plant Aerial February 2008

The Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, is pictured above. (Photo courtesy NNSA)


Two nuclear weapons facilities managed under one contract

Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC on Tuesday assumed full responsibility for managing and operating the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The two nuclear weapons facilities perform missions vital to national security, CNS said in a press release.

The National Nuclear Security Administration awarded CNS the contract to consolidate the two facilities under a single contract. During a four-month transition that began March 3, the CNS team prepared to integrate and operate both facilities to deliver their critical missions with safety, security, quality, and cost efficiency, the press release said.

During the course of transition, CNS completed more than 3,000 scheduled actions, brought on board 7,800 employees, inspected more than 400 facilities, reviewed and approved more than 5,000 procedures, consulted with dozens of community leaders and elected officials, and established the structure and processes for managing the two sites as one enterprise, the release said. Transition activities were completed on schedule and under budget. [Read more...]

Y-12, Pantex complete transition to new contractor

Y-12 Aerial Photo June 2012

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is pictured above in June 2012. (Photo courtesy NNSA)


The National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office and Consolidated Nuclear Security have completed one of the largest and most complex contract transitions in the history of the U.S. Department of Energy.

On July 1, Consolidated Nuclear Security, or CNS, assumed the responsibility for managing and operating the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. CNS replaces B&W Y-12, which had operated Y-12 since 2000, and B&W Pantex, which also had operated Pantex since 2000. The contract includes a total annual operating budget of $1.5 billion and employment of about 8,000 in Tennessee and Texas.

Steve Erhart

Steve Erhart

“The new contract will allow NNSA to continue the safe and secure maintenance of the nuclear weapons stockpile; provide enriched uranium for naval, research, and isotope production reactors; and, support nonproliferation activities to reduce the global nuclear threat,” said Steve Erhart, NNSA Production Office manager. “The conclusion of this transition will bring much needed stability to the thousands of men and women who play an important role in our enduring national security mission. All contract transitions create some change and uncertainty. But, throughout this process, the highly skilled professionals at Pantex and Y-12 have remained focused and dedicated to the safe and secure completion of the mission.”

The consolidated contract will yield significant savings to the U.S. taxpayer over the life of the contract as NNSA and CNS develop more efficient ways of doing business, a press release said. A portion of the generated savings are to be reinvested into aging infrastructure at both sites to improve the working conditions for the Pantex and Y-12 workforce. [Read more...]

Haynes, Erhart: ‘Beginning of new era’ at Y-12, Pantex

Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes

The transition to a new federal contractor is complete at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge and Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. The new contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, began operating the sites Tuesday, July 1.

Here is a message from NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart and Consolidated Nuclear Security Chief Executive Officer Jim Haynes:

Steve Erhart

Steve Erhart

Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex. For the first time, the two largest NNSA nuclear production sites are consolidated under one contract. Whether you are in Texas or Tennessee, we are now one team delivering our national security mission. [Read more...]