That’s not the sky that’s falling at Y-12

9212There’s been a change of contractors at the Y-12 National Security Complex, but some things continue — such as chunks of concrete falling out of the ceilings at old buildings.

According to a newly released July 11 memo by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, there’s been another problem — this one at Building 9215, part of the plant’s uranium processing operation. There have been similar reports in the past, including falling debris in the World War II-era 9212 facility.

“This week, a CNS (Consolidated Nuclear Security) supervisor found that a piece of concrete had fallen from the ceiling in the stairwell that leads to the basement of M-Wing in Building 9215,” the memo stated. “The supervisor controlled the area and notified the Shift Manager. Following a structural engineer’s inspection of the area, the Shift Manager posted the entrance to the stairwell with signs requiring personnel to don a hard hat prior to entry.”

The report said the concrete chunk was about three inches in diameter and nine inches long.

“There was no visible indication of reinforcing bar or corrosion in the concrete chunk or the affected area of the ceiling,” the memo said

The proposed corrective action is to install a steel plate “to protect personnel from falling debris as they pass under the deteriorated area.”

Building 9215 is one of the facilities recommended for refurbishment and upgrading by the Red Team review team in order to assume additional workload and extend operations into the future.

Meanwhile, the same memo said that some additional inspections had been conducted in response to the “concrete spalling event” that occurred in the spring at Beta-2 — another of the old facilities at Y-12 that are part of the extended-operations plans for Y-12.

The Beta-2 evaluation “recommends several new mitigating controls that include restricting access in some locations due to severe degradation.”

The safety board staff said CNS senior management is “evaluating the recommendations and plans to ensure appropriate controls are implemented.”

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This entry was posted in CNS, DNFSB, NNSA, nuclear, UPF, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.