Looking for new home for Y-12’s Analytical Chemistry

y12overviewAccording to a recently released memo by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office — which oversees operations at Y-12 and Pantex — earlier this year asked managing contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security to provide a list of alternatives for the future operation of Y-12’s Analytical Chemistry Organization.

The reason for the look-see was the “age-related deterioration” of Building 9995, where the Y-12 chemists and their laboratories are located.

“During the last several years, Building 9995 has experienced equipment failures in systems such as air conditioning, electrical distribution, and utility piping,” the Oct. 9 report stated.

CNS reportedly submitted a preliminary analysis in September, “with recommendations for options for a more detailed analysis.”

Those options, according to the DNFSB report, included relocating Analytical Chemistry operations to an existing facility inside Y-12’s high-security Protected Area or construction of a new facility outside the Protected Area.

Asked for comment on the current situation, NNSA spokesman Steven Wyatt said via email, “Final determinations on relocation of Analytical Chemistry laboratories have not been made yet. NNSA is evaluating all possibilities at this point in order to make a decision that is in the best interest of Y-12’s missions and stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”

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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.