Y-12 now getting power from Pine Ridge substation

The Pine Ridge substation now serves the Y-12 National Security Complex, including the Uranium Processing Facility. (Photo provided by CNS Y-12)

Submitted

The Y-12 National Security Complex flipped the switch on a new era as crews finalized the process of moving the entire site’s electrical supply to the new Pine Ridge substation.

In June, the Building 9204-02 (Beta 2) and Building 9201-01 (Alpha 1) electrical feeds were disconnected from the Elza-1 substation, marking the final load transition to Pine Ridge.

The new substation was built as one of seven Uranium Processing Facility Project subprojects. Designed and built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Pine Ridge substation construction began in 2017 and was completed in 2020 at a cost of $60 million. The project team received the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary’s Project Management Achievement Award for finishing $13 million under budget and six months ahead of schedule. It is a 70-MVA (mega volt amp) facility and includes:

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DOE picks Idaho for nuclear test reactor

Image courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to build a nuclear test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory to study fuels and materials.

Besides INL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory had been considered as a potential site for the Versatile Test Reactor. ORNL remains one of five national laboratories that are partners on the project. DOE said building the test reactor at INL was its preferred alternative.

At ORNL, the Versatile Test Reactor would have been at a relatively undeveloped site previously considered for other projects about a mile east of the ORNL main campus. It would have required a new hot cell and a facility for post-irradiation examination and the conditioning of spent nuclear fuel for disposal. It would also have used existing facilities at ORNL, including the Irradiated Fuels Examination Laboratory and the Irradiated Material Examination and Testing Facility.

DOE said building the Versatile Test Reactor at either INL or ORNL would have small environmental consequences, but overall, the consequences would be less at the INL site. Among the reasons: A smaller area would be temporarily disturbed and permanently occupied at INL because of the need to build a new hot cell facility at ORNL. Unlike the INL site, the ORNL location abuts wetlands that would have to be managed or avoided under the Clean Water Act and Tennessee regulations. The removal of trees at ORNL would result in the loss of roosting habitat for sensitive bat species. And although small at both locations, the potential radiological impacts would be lower at INL because the Versatile Test Reactor would be farther from the site boundary and population density is lower near INL than ORNL.

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Image courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to build a nuclear test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory to study fuels and materials.

Besides INL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory had been considered as a potential site for the Versatile Test Reactor. ORNL remains one of five national laboratories that are partners on the project. DOE said building the test reactor at INL is its preferred alternative.

Image courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to build a nuclear test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory to study fuels and materials.

Besides INL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory had been considered as a potential site for the Versatile Test Reactor. ORNL remains one of five national laboratories that are partners on the project. DOE said building the test reactor at INL was its preferred alternative.

At ORNL, the Versatile Test Reactor would have been at a relatively undeveloped site previously considered for other projects about a mile east of the ORNL main campus. It would have required a new hot cell and a facility for post-irradiation examination and the conditioning of spent nuclear fuel for disposal. It would also have used existing facilities at ORNL, including the Irradiated Fuels Examination Laboratory and the Irradiated Material Examination and Testing Facility.

DOE said building the Versatile Test Reactor at either INL or ORNL would have small environmental consequences, but overall, the consequences would be less at the INL site. Among the reasons: A smaller area would be temporarily disturbed and permanently occupied at INL because of the need to build a new hot cell facility at ORNL. Unlike the INL site, the ORNL location abuts wetlands that would have to be managed or avoided under the Clean Water Act and Tennessee regulations. The removal of trees at ORNL would result in the loss of roosting habitat for sensitive bat species. And although small at both locations, the potential radiological impacts would be lower at INL because the Versatile Test Reactor would be farther from the site boundary and population density is lower near INL than ORNL.

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.

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Oak Ridge Today
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Oak Ridge, TN 37831

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We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

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Crews prepare former ORNL reactors for demolition

An aerial view of the central campus area at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management will be transforming in the months ahead. Demolition is scheduled to begin on Building 3010 (front right) this fall followed by Building 3005 (back right) later this year. Crews are also conducting cleanup projects in Building 3042 (left). (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management)

The U.S. Department of Energy and cleanup contractor UCOR are preparing to demolish research reactor facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Crews are nearing the final stages of deactivation inside two former research reactor facilities: the Bulk Shielding Reactor, known as Building 3010, and the Low Intensity Test Reactor, known as Building 3005, according to a newsletter published by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management. They are also beginning efforts at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor, known as Building 3042.

The work is overseen by DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, or OREM.

These structures are located in the heart of ORNL, and their demolition will eliminate risks, clear land for research missions, and enhance access to a component of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the department said.

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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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