The US Department of Energy and cleanup company UCOR are preparing to demolish the Oak Ridge National Laboratory research reactor facilities.
Crews approach the final stages of decommissioning inside two former research reactor facilities: the Bulk Protection Reactor, known as Building 3010, and the Low Current Test Reactor, known as building name 3005, according to a bulletin issued by the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management. They also begin their efforts at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor, known as Building 3042.
The work is overseen by the DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, or OREM.
These structures are located in the heart of ORNL, and their demolition will eliminate hazards, free up land for research missions and improve access to a component of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park, the department said.
“We have been working on the demolition plan for reactors 3010 and 3005 since 2018,” said Kent Ridenour, project manager for ORNL reactors at UCOR. “Finally seeing the end in sight is impressive considering the accomplishments and challenges we’ve faced over the past four years, but the teams of craftsmen and support groups have worked together to make this possible.”
The Bulk Shielding Reactor was built in the 1950s for radiation shielding studies. Crews removed asbestos from the facility and recently filled the 27-foot-deep reactor pool with concrete mix to prepare the building for demolition this fall.
Next door, other teams are preparing the low-intensity test reactor for dismantling. The facility began operations as a training reactor in 1951 and ended in 1968. Crews have completed characterization and other pre-demolition activities are currently underway to prepare it for later demolition This year.
“There has been a lot of work to prepare these facilities for demolition,” said Nathan Felosi, Federal Project Director of OREM’s OREM Portfolio. “It’s gratifying to see how this work paves the way for ORNL’s central campus to look very different by the end of this year.”
Projects have also started at the nearby Oak Ridge research reactor. Built in 1955, this isotope production and irradiation facility operated until 1987 and was discharged in 1989. In recent years, OREM has discovered slow seepage from the reactor pool. The workers emptied the pool and removed the heavily irradiated components.
DOE EM Update Contributor: Carol Hendrycks
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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