Demolition now complete on four of five gaseous diffusion buildings
Demolition of the large K-31 Building in west Oak Ridge means that 200 acres of flat land are now available for industrial development at East Tennessee Technology Park, officials said.
“It’s the largest parcel of land available at ETTP,” said Sue Cange, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.
Infrastructure is already in place, including water, sewer, roads, and electricity, Cange said. Also, ETTP is close to Interstate 40, a short rail line, and possibly an airport. (There are plans to build an airport at the site, which is also known as Heritage Center.)
K-31 is the fourth of five gaseous diffusion buildings demolished at ETTP. The site, which has also been known as K-25 and Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, was built during the Manhattan Project in World War II as part of a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs. Officials say it helped to win the Cold War, enriching uranium for commercial nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.
But operations ended in 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987. DOE then began cleanup operations and—with the help of contractors, a nonprofit organization, and others–is converting it into a large private industrial park. [Read more…]