DOE: Feds must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22

The Joe L. Evins Federal Building is pictured above in Oak Ridge on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The executive order issued by President Joe Biden in September requires federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, the U.S. Department of Energy said. DOE said 84 percent of the department’s federal workforce was, at the time, fully vaccinated.

To comply with the November 22 deadline, DOE’s employees must complete their vaccinations by November 8. This would apply to the first Johnson & Johnson shot, a one-shot vaccine, or the second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots, both two-shot vaccines. People aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the final dose of a vaccine.

The U.S. Department of Energy notified its staff of the vaccine requirement on Tuesday last week.

“Protecting your health and safety is our top priority,” DOE told its staff. “To help ensure this, President Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22, 2021. This applies to all federal employees regardless of remote, telework, or onsite reporting status, except in limited circumstances in which an employee may be exempt due to a legally required accommodation.”

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For members: More than 4,000 fish, crayfish killed by Y-12 chlorinated water, mercury

Upper East Fork Poplar Creek is pictured above at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on Friday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

More than 4,000 fish and crayfish were killed by chlorinated water and mercury at the Y-12 National Security Complex in two series of incidents in 2018 and 2021.

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Upper East Fork Poplar Creek is pictured above at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on Friday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

More than 4,000 fish and crayfish were killed by chlorinated water and mercury at the Y-12 National Security Complex in two series of incidents in 2018 and 2021.

The rest of this story, which you will read only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

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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.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Upper East Fork Poplar Creek is pictured above at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on Friday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

More than 4,000 fish and crayfish were killed by chlorinated water and mercury at the Y-12 National Security Complex in two series of incidents in 2018 and 2021. 

The first series of incidents was likely caused by the release of mercury while crews were cleaning up and removing equipment at the Alpha-4 Building on the west side of Y-12, according to scientists and officials. Alpha-4 is the most contaminated of the four major mercury-contaminated buildings at Y-12. Millions of pounds of mercury were used at Y-12 decades ago to produce nuclear weapons parts. Removing mercury-contaminated buildings, equipment, and soil remains one of the top challenges of cleaning up the Oak Ridge Reservation.

Upper East Fork Poplar Creek is pictured above at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on Friday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

More than 4,000 fish and crayfish were killed by chlorinated water and mercury at the Y-12 National Security Complex in two series of incidents in 2018 and 2021.

The rest of this story, which you will read only on Oak Ridge Today, 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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Demolition work at ORNL radioisotope lab could be complete this spring

A view of the demolition of a hot cell inside a protective cover at the former Radioisotope Development Lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (Photo courtesy UCOR)

Demolition work at a former radioisotope laboratory in Oak Ridge could be complete this spring.

The U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and UCOR announced earlier this year that UCOR, a contractor, had begun removing the two remaining structures at the former Radioisotope Development Lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“This project launches our next phase of major demolition and cleanup at ORNL,” said Nathan Felosi, OREM’s portfolio federal project director for ORNL. “Our work is eliminating contaminated structures, like this one, that are on DOE’s list of high-risk facilities and clearing space for future research missions.”

Known as “hot cells,” the structures being demolished are heavily shielded concrete rooms that provided researchers protection from highly radioactive material during the years the laboratory was operational, a press release said.

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UCOR cleanup contract extended

The East Tennessee Technology Park (the former Oak Ridge K-25 Site), which is pictured above, is being cleaned up by UCOR for the U.S. Department of Energy. (Photo by UCOR)

The UCOR contract to clean up federal sites in Oak Ridge has been extended one year to July 31, 2021, and the consideration of a new cleanup contract won’t be considered until November 2020 at the earliest.

The UCOR contract could be extended one additional year, to July 31, 2022, using two six-month options, depending upon contractor performance and progress.

Before the extension, UCOR’s contract had been scheduled to expire July 31, 2020.

UCOR works on cleanup projects for the U.S. Department of Energy at the East Tennessee Technology Park, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Y-12 National Security Complex. The work includes the demolition of old, contaminated buildings that are no longer used. The cleanup work is called environmental management, or EM.

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DOE plans to demolish world’s oldest operating nuclear facility

Building 3019, the oldest operating nuclear facility in the world, is pictured above at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management)

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to demolish the oldest operating nuclear facility in the world.

The cleanup and demolition of Building 3019 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could start sometime around 2030.

But the work won’t start until more than 500 canisters of uranium-233 stored in the building have been processed and removed, possibly by 2025.

More than 70 years old, Building 3019 was built during World War II as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. That was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs.

From 1943-1976, the building was used as a pilot plant to test radiochemical processes before they were used on a large scale at other nuclear facilities.

Now Building 3019 stores the nation’s inventory of uranium-233. Processing and removing that uranium is the top cleanup priority at ORNL because, among other things, storing the highly enriched fissile nuclear material increases security costs and creates nuclear safety issues. The cleanup work is being done by DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and its contractor Isotek.

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