In recent times, the Department of Energy and its Oak Ridge cleanup manager, UCOR, have talked about future plans for maximizing funding to accomplish cleanup priorities. At last week’s ETEBA Business Opportunities Conference in Knoxville, DOE’s acting environmental manager Sue Cange talked about the “visions” of Oak Ridge cleanup to come. Continue reading
The Department of Energy has given would-be bidders another 10 days to prepare their proposals on the contract to manage the Transuranic Waste Processing Center in Oak Ridge. According to the amendment posted on DOE’s Environmental Management website, the due date has been changed from Dec. 1 to Dec. 11. The value of the contract could be up to $300 million. Continue reading
ORNL’s new honorees, from left, Michelle Buchanan, Liyuan Liang, and Melanie Mayes. (ORNL photos)
Michelle Buchanan, Liyuan Liang and Melanie Mayes of Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and will be recognized at the association’s annual meeting in February. Continue reading
A few days ago, I talked with Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason and asked him about the impact of the so-called Red Team that he headed this past spring. The team of experts evaluated the enriched uranium operations at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and came up with an alternative strategy to the Uranium Processing Facility. The National Nuclear Security Administration and its Y-12 contractor reportedly took the recommendations to heart and are implementing many of them in the revised UPF project that’s been revealed publicly in skips and starts. Continue reading
Apparently because of the continuing possibility of Ferguson-related protests, Y-12 announced Tuesday that Portals 23 and 13 on the east end of the plant would close at 6 p.m. “Employees should expect normal operations on Wednesday, Nov. 26,” Y-12 tweeted this afternoon.
The Government Accountability Office today released a report for the Senate Armed Services Committee, evaluating project and program management at the Department of Energy. The report is titled, “DOE Needs to Revise Requirements and Guidance for Cost Estimate and Related Reviews.” It’s not a new topic, by any stretch. Continue reading
Nobel Laureate Ernest Lawrence slumps in his chair from fatigue in front of a cyclotron control panel while working on calutron-related experiments at Berkeley, Calif., in 1943. (Department of Energy archives/OSTI)
The Department of Energy’s interactive history of the Manhattan Project — shepherded by the Oak Ridge-based Office of Scientific and Technical Information — has lots of good reading and storylines, including the build-up of the electromagnetic processes used at Y-12 to produce the enriched uranium for the first atomic bomb. The Y-12 calutrons, of course, were the brainchild of E.O. Lawrence.
Here’s an excerpt: Continue reading
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s two neutron sources — the Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactor — were restarted last week. The HFIR returned from its scheduled maintenance and refueling out, while the SNS was brought back online after a series of problems.
Ron Crone, ORNL’s associate lab director for neutron sciences, said Monday that both were doing fine and running experiments. Continue reading
The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance has formed what’s being called the “UPF Accountability Project,” with a goal of providing and spreading information on the multibillion-dollar project under way at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.
Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the alliance, issued this statement: Continue reading
Based on the current configuration, there is virtually no place for protesters to park or stand in the vicinity of the plant — other than Scarboro Road itself. Continue reading
For the third time in about three months an accident at Y-12 has resulted in broken bones. In this case, which occurred Nov. 18, the employee was walking through a parking lot at about 6:30 a.m., slipped on a patch of black ice, and broke his leg, according to plant spokeswoman Ellen Boatner. Following two accidents in August involving broken bones, the Y-12 contractor (Consolidated Nuclear Security) held a “safety pause” to put more emphasis on possible causes. Early in the year, an employee suffered multiple leg fractures — and required surgery — after falling inside Building 9103.
The size of the project has been scaled down somewhat to reportedly contain the total cost at $6.5 billion or less and accelerate plans to get out of the age-weakened 9212 complex.
But it’s still a very big undertaking. Continue reading