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DOE bus tours restart in Oak Ridge

U.S. Department of Energy public bus tours have resumed in Oak Ridge after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo from DOE)

U.S. Department of Energy public bus tours have resumed in Oak Ridge after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tours began running again on July 11, and they are scheduled to continue through November.

“The program is a longtime staple in the community, helping educate residents and visitors about the site’s rich history and current missions,” DOE said in an EM Update newsletter published Tuesday. (EM stands for environmental management.)

The tour program started in 1996 and has attracted tens of thousands of visitors from all 50 states, DOE said.

The three-and-a-half-hour tours allow visitors to see all three DOE sites on the Oak Ridge Reservation, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Y-12 National Security Complex, and East Tennessee Technology Park.

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DOE, UCOR to highlight ETTP transformation, opportunities

An artist’s rendering of what the redeveloped East Tennessee Technology Park could look like. (Image provided by U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management)

The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor UCOR will highlight the transformation of the East Tennessee Technology Park (the former K-25 site) and discuss the economic opportunities there during a virtual event on Thursday.

The hour-long presentation is free and open to the public, and it is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

“Leadership from both organizations will share the final steps required to complete environmental cleanup activities at the former uranium enrichment complex and transition the site to private ownership, a process known as reindustrialization,” a press release said. “The event also includes a panel discussion with partners who helped create the vision and blueprint for this ambitious conversion.”

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CROET president tells Oak Ridge story on national podcast

Teresa Frady

Teresa Frady, president of the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee, is the Spotlight Interview guest on this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast, which covers U.S. Department of Energy environmental management activities around the nation.

Hosted by Michael Butler, the episode is available on all podcast platforms and can be accessed at www.gonefissionpodcast.com, a press release said.

Frady shared with Butler’s listeners CROET’s mission to help DOE transition underused assets such as land, buildingsm and equipment to private sector companies at the East Tennessee Technology Park, also known as the Heritage Center. She recently replaced Lawrence Young, who had served as CROET’s president and chief executive officer since its founding in 1995.

“Our partnership with DOE in transferring federal land helps the region with creation of quality jobs but also adds the property to Roane County and City of Oak Ridge tax rolls,” she said in the press release. “This helps the communities and saves the federal government money since DOE no longer has to maintain those assets.”

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ETTP cleanup team receives Secretary’s Award

East Tennessee Technology Park, the former K-25 site, is pictured above in west Oak Ridge after most cleanup work, including demolition of the five large gaseous diffusion buildings, was completed. (Submitted photo)

The Oak Ridge team that mostly cleaned up the former K-25 site, demolishing five large gaseous diffusion buildings and more than 500 structures, has received a Secretary’s Achievement Award from U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The work was done ahead of schedule and under budget, the U.S. Department of Energy said.

Granholm honored the DOE Office of Environmental Management team from Oak Ridge in a virtual ceremony Wednesday, a press release said.

K-25 was used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and commercial nuclear power plants from World War II to the 1980s.

It was the first removal of a uranium enrichment complex, and it cleared 13 million square feet of deteriorated, contaminated structures from the site, the press release said.

“The Secretary’s Achievement Award honors a group or team of DOE employees and contractors who accomplish significant achievements on behalf of the department, demonstrating cooperation and teamwork in attaining their goals,” the press release said. “The award was given to the Oak Ridge Vision 2020 Project Team based on its achievements from 2020.”

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DOE, state pave way to transfer 3,500 acres


From left, TWRA Executive Director Bobby Wilson, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Acting Manager Laura Wilkerson, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office Manager Johnny Moore sign an agreement that lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land from the U.S. Department of Energy to the state of Tennessee. (Submitted photo)

 

More than 3,500 acres of federal land could be transferred to the state of Tennessee, including Clark Center Park and Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement.

The land could be transferred under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The two organizations signed an Agreement in Principle on Wednesday, December 15, that “lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land to the state,” a press release said.

“Transferring this federally owned land will increase natural resource management and designate areas for greenspace and mixed-use recreational opportunities for the public,” the press release said.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today. Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here. Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here: Basic

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From left, TWRA Executive Director Bobby Wilson, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Acting Manager Laura Wilkerson, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office Manager Johnny Moore sign an agreement that lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land from the U.S. Department of Energy to the state of Tennessee. (Submitted photo)

More than 3,500 acres of federal land could be transferred to the state of Tennessee, including Clark Center Park and Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement.

The land could be transferred under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The two organizations signed an Agreement in Principle on Wednesday, December 15, that “lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land to the state,” a press release said.


From left, TWRA Executive Director Bobby Wilson, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Acting Manager Laura Wilkerson, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office Manager Johnny Moore sign an agreement that lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land from the U.S. Department of Energy to the state of Tennessee. (Submitted photo)

 

More than 3,500 acres of federal land could be transferred to the state of Tennessee, including Clark Center Park and Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement.

The land could be transferred under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The two organizations signed an Agreement in Principle on Wednesday, December 15, that “lays the groundwork to transfer more than 3,500 acres of scenic East Tennessee land to the state,” a press release said.

“Transferring this federally owned land will increase natural resource management and designate areas for greenspace and mixed-use recreational opportunities for the public,” the press release said.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today. Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here. Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here: Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to: Oak Ridge Today P.O. Box 6064 Oak Ridge, TN 37831 We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here. We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

SSAB to hear about reuse, historic preservation at ETTP

K-25 History Center (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management)

The Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board will hear about reuse and historic preservation at the East Tennessee Technology Park, including the new K-25 History Center, during a presentation next week.

The presentation will be given to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board by Steve Cooke of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the U.S. Department of Energy Information Center at 1 Science.gov Way off Oak Ridge Turnpike in east Oak Ridge.

Some of the last remaining Manhattan Project and Cold War buildings are being demolished at ETTP, and most major cleanup work is expected to be completed this year.

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Demolition started on centrifuge site, largest remaining complex at ETTP

Workers have begun taking down the second of four sections of the Centrifuge Complex at East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. Completing this project will move the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management closer to its goal of finishing all major demolitions at ETTP by the end 2020. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management)

Cleanup crews have started tearing down the largest remaining collection of buildings at the former K-25 site, which was built during World War II and enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and power plants through the Cold War.

The demolition work is occurring at the Centrifuge Complex at the K-25 site, now known as East Tennessee Technology Park or Heritage Center. The Centrifuge Complex is on the south side of ETTP. It includes the tall, white buildings visible from Highway 58.

Oak Ridge crews began demolishing the K-1200 section of the Centrifuge Complex in February. It’s the second of four sections.

Deactivation and demolition work in the first section of the complex was recently completed. That portion was a Manhattan Project facility built for research and development in 1944.

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UCOR accepting applications for education grants

UCOR, a federal cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge, is accepting applications for education grants between $500 and $1,000.

The grants will support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, projects.

The grant applications are open to public school teachers in eight counties: Anderson (including Oak Ridge and Clinton City schools), Campbell, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, Scott, and Union.

“Teachers in those counties are welcome to apply, but applications should focus on STEM,” a press release said. “For instance, a music teacher might apply for a grant for a math-related project within the field of music.”

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‘Mud’ photography exhibit opens at K-25 History Center on Thursday

The new K-25 History Center will be hosting “Mud, a Photographic Exhibition of Life in the Secret City.” The exhibit will open on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, and it will be available for viewing through the month of March. (Submitted photo)

The new K-25 History Center will be hosting “Mud, a Photographic Exhibition of Life in the Secret City.” The exhibit will open on Thursday, February 27, and it will be available for viewing through the month of March.

There will be a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the K-25 History Center at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 27.

During World War II, Oak Ridge was a quickly built as a secret government town of 70,000 workers who lived in a camp-like environment of barbed wire, security checkpoints, and code words, a press release said. Workers were fingerprinted, interviewed, assigned a job, and given a clearance badge. Housing was limited and cramped and often unheated.

Oak Ridgers who ventured into Knoxville were easy to spot. The quickly constructed secret city was blanketed in a thick layer of mud. As a result, its residents’ muddy shoes were a dead giveaway as to their origin. “The muddy conditions of Oak Ridge during the war was a commonality that all residents, regardless of occupation, had to contend with,” the press release said.

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K-25 History Center has grand opening this month

The K-25 History Center will have a grand opening ceremony on Thursday, February 27.

The ceremony, which will include a ribbon-cutting, is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 27, at 652 Enrichment Street in west Oak Ridge.

The K-25 site, now known as Heritage Center, was built during World War II to help enrich uranium for the top-secret Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. K-25 helped enrich uranium for “Little Boy,” a nuclear weapon dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, shortly before the end of World War II.

After the war, K-25 enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and commercial nuclear power plants through the Cold War. The site was shut down in the mid-1980s, and it is being cleaned up and converted into a private industrial park. The site’s large uranium enrichment buildings have been demolished and so have many of the support buildings. Most of the cleanup is expected to be completed this year.

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