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.
The gaseous diffusion operations at the building ended in 1964, and the former K-25 site, which is now known as Heritage Center, is slowly being converted into a massive industrial park.
Demolition work on the North End was completed in January.
Plans have called for completing the demolition work on the remaining six units in the east wing by 2015.
The K-25 Building demolition project is the largest in DOE’s Environmental Management program. Earlier this year, federal officials said the project has an approved value of up to $1.4 billion, although they said the total cost—including expenses for maintenance, repairs, and security patrols dating back to the mid-1980s—could come in under budget at roughly $1.1 billion.
The demolition project started in December 2008 under Bechtel Jacobs Co. LLC, DOE’s former cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge. UCOR began working at the K-25 site, now known as East Tennessee Technology Park, in August 2011.
Construction on the 44-acre K-25 Building started in November 1943 as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project and was finished in August 1945, about the time World War II ended. The K-25 site was used to enrich uranium for commercial use after the war. K-25 also worked with sites in Portsmouth, Ohio, and Paducah, Ky., to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
UCOR is a partnership between URS and CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, and it is the U.S. Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge.
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