Demolition of 1940s-era switchyard at Oak Ridge

22624591931_b20f7a32d9_kWorker takes notes during pre-demolition activities at the K-732 switchyard, which once provided power to uranium-enrichment operations at the Oak Ridge site. (Department of Energy photo/Lynn Freeny)

CTI and Associates Inc., a small business based in Michigan, has received a $2.1 million fixed-price contract to perform “asset recovery and demolition” at a 1940s-era electrical switchyard at the Oak Ridge uranium-enrichment complex now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park.

The U.s. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management in Oak Ridge awarded the contract to CTI in June, but Joey Brown, the company’s executive vice president, said most of the work to date has involved pre-demolition activities and coordinating work with UCOR — DOE’s cleanup manager at the site. Demolition is expected to begin soon, he said.

Mike Koentop, executive officer of the DOE environmental organization in Oak Ridge, said the scope of the project includes the “removal and recycling of electrical equipment.” That includes a variety of transformers, circuit breakers, bus bars, switches, cabling and other items at the old switchyard on the west end of the site near the K-27 building.

According to Koentop, the value of the recovered materials — such as copper, aluminum and steel — will help reduce the government’s costs on the project.

Brown said CTI has specialty subcontractors working on the project, including TCI, an Alabama company that specializes in recycling electrical equipment. “We’re just committed to recoverying as much of these materials as possible,” he said.

Some of the transformers contain oils, including some PCB-contaminated oils, Brown said. “It’s sort of a mix,” he said.

Koentop said the equipment will be drained of any oils and disassembled prior to any processing.

“The K-732 Switchyard is not a nuclear facility, and no radiological contamination is present at the site,” the DOE official said.

Brown said the Oak Ridge site has been surveyed, with no rad contamination above background levels.

Demolition will likely be completed in early 2016, the CTI executive said.

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