Pondering repairs in Y-12’s production complex

y12overviewI received an unconfirmed report that Y-12 management is planning to tear down a small  facility near Beta-2 (Building 9204-2) in order to install scaffolding to do repair work on Beta-2 — which houses the plant’s weapons work with lithium. There have been a number of problems at Beta-2 in recent years, including chunks of concrete falling from the ceiling.

The reported plan to demolish the “Beta-2 annex” apparently hasn’t met with favor among some workers, one of whom described it as a “perfectly good building” that’s home to about 40 employees. The unconfirmed report also suggested this approach could cost as much as $3 million. 

Steven Wyatt, a spokesman in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office, acknowledged that demolition of the Beta-2 annex is being considered as an option for repairing Beta-2. But he wouldn’t discuss estimated costs or other details.

“We are in the process of planning for needed repairs to the Kathabar system for 9204-2 (Beta-2) that controls humidity inside the building,” Wyatt said in an email response to questions. “No decision has been made on whether or not to demolish the Beta-2 annex as part of this work, though that remains an option.

“We will seek the most cost-effective approach to this work.”

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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.