Source: EM Update | Vol. 10, Issue 19, Ben Williams | May 15, 2018

In this issue of EM Update, we’re highlighting equipment and facilities that support EM cleanup as part of National Infrastructure Week, May 14-21. Infrastructure is a critical component of EM sites across the country. 

At DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM), construction progresses on an important component of infrastructure to enable large-scale cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Crews are building two secant pile walls to support the new Mercury Treatment Facility. These walls will retain soils, control water seepage, and provide a deep, secure foundation for the water intake structure to divert Upper East Fork Poplar Creek waters into the headworks portion of the facility.

The new facility is vital to OREM because it opens the door for demolition of Alpha-2, Alpha-4, Alpha-5, and Beta 4 — large, deteriorated, former mercury-use facilities dating to the 1940s. After their removal, OREM will remediate the soils beneath them. The facility will limit and control potential mercury releases as crews take down those buildings and address the soils that may disrupt the mercury-contaminated area on the west end of Y-12. When operational, the facility will treat up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute and include a 2-million-gallon storage tank to collect stormwater.

The south secant pile wall will consist of 65 piles installed at depths of 20 to 40 feet, and it is scheduled for completion in November 2018. The north wall will consist of 19 piles drilled approximately 16 feet deep, and that work is scheduled for completion in July 2018.

An artist rendering shows the completed secant pile walls to support the headworks portion of the Mercury Treatment Facility at Y-12.