Monthly Archives: November 2011

Graduation time at Y-12

B&W Y-12 photo
Joe Riordan gets his welder’s certificate from Y-12 Deputy GM Bill Klemm. That’s Beth Green of Facilities, Services and Infrastructure at the podium.
There was a graduation ceremony today at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant for the first time in almost 30 years, contractor B&W Y-12 said in distributed info. In ceremonies at the New Hope Center, the Y-12 Apprentice Program recognized nine apprentices — representing multiple unions — with certificates of achievement for on-the-job and classroom training. The program was restarted three years ago and currently has 73 participants. B&W said the plant plans to add machinists to the current list of eight trades in the program.

NNSA appeals Y-12 discharge permit; argues against mercury-reduction activities

The National Nuclear Security Administration has filed an appeal on the new discharge permit for the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge. In a letter to the Tennessee Water Quality Control Board, the NNSA legal counsel at Y-12 argued that some of the new permit’s required mercury-reduction activities are the domain of CERCLA and should not be included in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Y-12’s new wastewater discharge new permit, which has gone through months of preparation and negotiations, is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 (Thursday). A public hearing was held on the draft permit Aug. 25.

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ORNL getting skinny: about 250 volunteer to leave payroll

Oak Ridge National Laboratory spokesman Bill Cabage today said “almost” 250 employees applied for the Voluntary Separation Program and, if approved as expected, will leave the lab payroll at the end of the year.
The voluntary program was part of ORNL Director Thom Mason’s announcement earlier this year that the lab contractor was taking steps to eliminate up to 350 jobs and taken other measures to cut costs and prepare for tight budgets in the future.

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UCOR: 2,000 waste loads and counting

UCOR photo
Truck at K-25’s East Wing is loaded with demolition debris.
The Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup manager, URS/CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR), announced this week that it had completed the 2,000th shipment of waste from the K-25 demolition project since taking over the role Aug. 1.
According to UCOR, “Materials shipped included processed steel, asbestos, concrete rubble, compressors and converters.” The demolition debris and most of the other wastes associated with the demolition project are being sent to DOE’s CERCLA landfill in Oak Ridge, which is known officially as the Environmental Management Waste Management Facility.

In praise of Goyal

ORNL Director Thom Mason applauded lab researcher (and Corporate Fellow) Amit Goyal on being named a winner of the E.O. Lawrence Award from the Dept. of Energy.
“His materials research activities have made practical use of novel materials such as high-temperature superconductors a reality,” Mason said in info released by the lab this afternoon.

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Is Y-12’s ‘Blue Line’ Union Carbide blue?

Anyone who’s ever participated in a protest at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant or covered one as a news event is probably familiar with the “Blue Line.” It is the government’s “229” property boundary (based on Section 229 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954), and it’s the place where protesters — if they cross the line — are arrested for trespassing.
In piece on Y-12’s website, Plant Historian Ray Smith talks about how that line came to be and how the color was chosen.

Y-12 helps the rural hungry

Employees in Y-12’s Facilities, Infrastructure and Services organization donated more than 80 food boxes — each with enough for a full Thanksgiving meal — to Mission of Hope to help feed families in rural Appalachia, including Scott and Claiborne Counties in East Tennessee. The employees also provided a check for $1,050, enough to purchase 105 turkeys to go along with the food boxes.
Shirley Plant, operations manager, for Mission of Hope, said, “We truly appreciate the donations from the people of Y-12. We had no idea this was going to happen, and it was a wonderful surprise. This year, there is a great need for food, especially in these mountain areas.”

ORNL’s Andrews to head Tennessee Academy of Science

andrews.jpgWilliam H. “Andy” Andrews, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is the new president of the Tennessee Academy of Science. He took office at the academy’s annual meeting in late October at Union University in Jackson. Andrews, a staff member in ORNL’s Measurement Science and Systems Engienering Division, had served as the academy’s president-elect for the previous year.
The Tennessee Academy of Science promotes research and the spread of scientific knowledge and facilitates communication among scientists in the state.