The Trump administration and congressional appropriations committees have agreed that $28 million in federal funding should be provided for a new fire station at the Y-12 National Security Complex.
The current fire station at Y-12 was built in the 1940s, and it is located within the most highly protected area of the nuclear weapons plant and close to the most hazardous operations, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration. Y-12 is an NNSA site.
“Seismic, tornado, hazardous material release, and security events could render the fire station inaccessible,” the NNSA said in a budget request submitted to Congress for fiscal year 2018, which starts October 1. (See page 271 here.)
Emergency planning assessments show that many hazardous materials releases would “have a very short travel time” before affecting the fire station, the NNSA said. Also, it’s critical to allow off-duty personnel to access the fire station since they augment the on-duty staff, the NNSA said.
The new fire station would be a single-story building of about 35,000 square feet. It would be located on the east end of Y-12, said Steven Wyatt, spokesperson for the NNSA Production Office in Oak Ridge.
The project received Critical Decision-1 approval for the “alternative selection and cost range” on July 11, Wyatt said. The start of construction could be approved in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, according to the NNSA.
Upgrades have been made to the existing fire station, which is just inside the high-security area on the west end of Y-12, but it “has exceeded its useful life and needs to be replaced to assure long-term emergency management response to the site,” the NNSA said.
“Relocation of the fire station away from Y-12 hazardous material facilities is necessary to ensure that the fire department can respond safely and effectively to all emergencies at Y-12,” the NNSA said.
The current high end of the cost estimate for the fire station is $33.83 million, according to the NNSA’s budget request
The federal funding for the Y-12 fire station was included in a budget request submitted to Congress by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, May 23.
The House Appropriations Committee approved the $28 million recommendation for the fire station in an energy and water appropriations bill that passed in a voice vote on Wednesday, July 12. (See also page 133 here.) It’s not clear when the bill might be considered by the full House.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the recommendation in an energy and water appropriations bill that passed 30-1 on Thursday, July 20. (See also page 118 here.) It’s not clear when that bill might be considered by the full Senate.
The Y-12 fire station is one of several projects at federal sites in Oak Ridge that are specifically cited in federal budget documents presented by the Trump administration or approved by the House and Senate appropriations committees. You can see our previous stories on the House appropriations bill here and on the Senate appropriations bill here.
You can see the NNSA budget request here. There is a section on the Y-12 fire station starting at page 270. The NNSA is a semi-automous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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