Big progress at switchyard project


Concrete supports for the electricial infrastructure are all that’s left of the K-732 Switchyard at the East Tennessee Technology Park. (DOE photo/Lynn Freeny)

The demolition of an old switchyard at the government’s former uranium-enrichment plant is pretty much a done deal, according to a Department of Energy spokesman, and what’s left to be done is characterization of soils at the Oak Ridge site to determine if there’s any contamination that needs to be removed.

Ben Williams of DOE’s Office of Environmental Management in Oak Ridge said that CTI, the contractor in charge of demolishing and cleaning up the K-732 Switchyard, had recently removed the third of three 110-ton condensers from the site and transported it safely to a landfill elsewhere on the DOE reservation.

“With the removal of the condensers, workers have finished recycling or disposing all of the materials from the switchyard,” Williams said in an email response to questions. “Next, teams will conduct soil surveys to determine what soil remediation may be needed in the area.”

The DOE spokesman said the cleanup project at the 1940s-era site is being done under a fixed-price contract. It was originally valued at about $2.1 million.

“We expect to complete it on schedule by June 2017,” Williams said.

Given the amount of progress to date, it would be surprising if the work isn’t finished well ahead of that deadline.

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