UCOR cleanup at DOE Oak Ridge Reservation


UCOR: Performing Cleanup that Facilitates Science and National Defense Missions on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation.

UCOR: Performing Cleanup that Facilitates Science and National Defense Missions on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation. 

UCOR, an Amentum-led project, is responsible for cleaning up the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation. After completing the first-ever cleanup of a gaseous diffusion complex—the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant—UCOR is now cleaning up select sites at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12). UCOR is also completing remedial action activities at the former gaseous diffusion plant site, now called East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). With UCOR’s assistance, DOE is converting ETTP into a multi-use industrial park, national park, and conservation area.

When UCOR began cleanup activities in Oak Ridge in 2011, crews were faced with challenging, high hazard work as most of the buildings were dilapidated and contaminated. UCOR’s unique dispose-as-you-go approach kept projects moving more rapidly by immediately disposing of the demolition waste.

UCOR’s successful completion of the ETTP cleanup contract—under budget and ahead of schedule—led to the company being awarded a follow-on contract that expands cleanup across the Reservation. With cleanup work shifting to ORNL and Y-12, UCOR’s important work is freeing up valuable space for continued science and national defense missions.

UCOR’s successful work on the Oak Ridge Reservation has been highlighted by an exceptional safety record. UCOR has achieved DOE Voluntary Protection Program Star status, a designation only given to the safest sites in the DOE Complex. UCOR has also won multiple VPP Star of Excellence Awards and was named one of America’s safest companies by EHS Today magazine.

Project Highlights

  • UCOR completed demolition of the Bulk Shielding Reactor, marking the the first-ever demolition of a reactor at ORNL. The facility was built in the 1950s for radiation shielding studies as part of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program.
  • Crews demolished the Criticality Experiment Laboratory, a 1940s-era facility, at Y-12. During the first decade of its operation, scientists conducted more than 9,700 experiments. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the two-story facility was used to support the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High-Flux Isotope Reactor program. The building has been closed since 1992.
  • Worker completed removal of the Biology Complex at Y-12, a former 11-building complex constructed for recovering uranium from process streams and later used for research on the effects of radiation on genetics. A new lithium processing facility is planned to be built on the cleared site.
  • Soil remediation at ETTP will wrap up in 2024 as workers continue removing contaminated soil and replacing it with clean fill.
  • UCOR joined DOE and regulators to break ground on the new Environmental Management Disposal Facility, an onsite disposal complex that will hold waste from ORNL and Y-12 cleanup.
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