Monthly Archives: May 2011

DOE’s summer bus tours in Oak Ridge, June 6-Sept. 2

Dept. of Energy archives
The extenior of the Graphite Reactor during the early days of ORNL.
The Department of Energy will start its 2011 bus tours of the Oak Ridge facilities on Monday, June 6, and continue through Friday, Sept. 2. The popular summer program includes a daily three-hour bus tour, Monday through Friday, departing each day at noon from the American Museum of Science & Energy, 300 South Tulane Ave.

Continue reading

Cyber insecurity: Report says America vulnerable, with threats outpacing progress

The Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., has released a report on the state of U.S. cyber security and recommendations to strengthen it. The two-volume report is titled, “America’s Cyber Future: Security and Prosperity in the Information Age.”
Here’s an excerpt from the report’s Executive Summary:

Continue reading

New photo exhibit, ‘Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945’

International Center of Photography
About 60 photographs, including this one, are on display in New York. They are part of a collection of more than 700 images of the destruction following the A-bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.
Once-classified images of Hiroshima are on display at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, in New York. The exhbiit, titled, “Hiroshima: Ground Zero,” runs through Aug 28. According to information provided by the center, hundreds of Hiroshima images had been mislaid for decades before being acquired by the ICP five years ago.

UCOR’s different approach to Oak Ridge D&D

k25demolition.jpgLeo Sain, the president and project manager of URS-CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR), the Dept. of Energy’s new environmental contractor in Oak Ridge, said the team’s proposal did not explicitly promise to do more work for the same amount of money.
“What we said is, our methodology is that once we get in, we’ll look for more efficient ways to doing work, to save money, and then we can apply it to work scope that currently might not be funded,” Sain said. “That is our approach.”
One of the big tasks facing UCOR will be completing the demolition of the K-25 uranium-enrichment facility — a mile-long building loaded with contamination that’s been partially torn down by Bechtel Jacobs Co., the DOE environmental chief since 1998, and subcontractors — and its nearby sister plant, K-27, at the complex now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park.

Continue reading

EnergySolutions wraps up railroad deal in Oak Ridge

EnergySolutions has completed the purchase of an Oak Ridge short-line railroad and associated assets on property once part the K-25 uranium-enrichment plant. EnergySolutions uses the line to facilitate rail shipments of radioactive waste from its nearby waste-processing facility on Bear Creek Road to its nuclear landfill at Clive, Utah. Bob Fowler has the story of the deal between EnergySolutions and CROET (Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee) over at

‘Ultra-secure’ wireless at Y-12

One of the “Select Initiatives” in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s recently released Strategic Plan was to complete by year’s end “secure 802.11 interior wireless” infrastructure projects at four key NNSA sites — Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Pantex and Y-12.
I asked for an update on the project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge and was told that NNSA had invested about $1 milion this year to deploy wireless technology at Y-12’s Jack Case and New Hope facilities.

Continue reading

More on the Lockheed Martin cyber attack

Tom A. Peter, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, in his report on the May 21 Lockheed Martin cyber attack, wrote: “Although it appears the attack had limited impact on the Department of Defense, it may indicate that cyber espionage is evolving and could become more of a serious threat to governments and companies in the near future.”
The report by Reuters at indicated that the U.S. government, including the Defense Dept. and Dept. of Homeland Security, had offered help to Lockheed Martin.

Continue reading

How many UCOR employees will be on the Oak Ridge payroll?

Things are changing on the Oak Ridge cleanup scene, with a new contractor in town — URS-CH2M — and in the process of taking over from Bechtel Jacobs Co., the Dept. of Energy’s environmental contractor since 1998.
The new contractor held a series of townhall meeting with incumbent employees, fielded questions and tried to reassure the anxious employees who don’t yet know if they’ll have a job in the new regime.
Leo Sain, the president of UCOR, and other contractor officials did not want to be specific about how many employees will work directly for UCOR following the transition. Bechtel Jacobs reportedly has about 1,200 employees, with a total of about 1,900 including subcontractors.

Continue reading